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Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities meets with States parties to the Convention

10 September 2013

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities this morning held a meeting with States parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which addressed, among other issues, questions related to the treaty body strengthening process, the examination of States parties’ reports, and accessibility in relation to the work of the Committee.

Several delegations welcomed the additional annual meeting time granted by the General Assembly to the Committee from 2014 and expressed satisfaction at the integration of webcasting services. A number of statements stressed the importance of ensuring adequate accessibility in the context of the work of the Committee. During the meeting, representatives of Chile, Argentina, Thailand, Australia, Austria, Slovenia, Norway, New Zealand and Israel took the floor.

Committee Experts called for the reinforcement of sensitization efforts regarding the Convention and its Optional Protocol. Experts underlined that reasonable accommodation was part of the rights of persons with disabilities and insisted on the need to promote it in United Nations buildings in Geneva. Experts also drew attention to the need for States to promote the harmonization of practices among different United Nations organs regarding the protection of the rights of persons with psycho-social and intellectual disabilities, noting that the Committee rejected the imposition of restrictive practices.

Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, Chairperson of the Committee, highlighted the participation of the Committee in the strengthening process of the treaty body system. Ms. Cisternas Reyes also recalled that Experts constituted an independent body and that full attention would be accorded to the ideas expressed during the meeting.

The Committee will conclude its tenth session on Friday, 13 September, and adopt concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Austria, Australia and El Salvador, which were considered during the session.

An extensive summary of today’s meeting with States parties is available in French here. Additional information about the tenth session of the Committee is available on its website.

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For use of the information media; not an official record