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Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities holds its seventeenth session in Geneva from 20 March to 12 April

Committee on the Rights of Persons 
with Disabilities

16 March 2017

BACKGROUND RELEASE

Committee to Review Reports of the Republic of Moldova, Iran, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jordan, Armenia, Honduras and Canada

The seventeenth session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be held from 20 March until 12 April at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, during which the implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Republic of Moldova, Iran, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jordan, Armenia, Honduras and Canada will be examined.

At the opening of the session at 3 p.m. on Monday, 20 March, the Committee will hear a statement from a representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, swear in newly elected members of the Committee, elect the Chair and other officers, and adopt its agenda and programme of work.  The Chair will present the report on activities undertaken between the sixteenth and seventeenth sessions of the Committee, and the cooperation with other United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, organizations of persons with disabilities and other competent bodies, will be discussed.

During the session, the Committee will review initial reports of eight countries: the review of the report of the Republic of Moldova (CRPD/C/MDA/1) will start on 21 March; Iran (CRPD/C/IRN/1) on 22 March; Cyprus (CRPD/C/CYP/1) on 23 March; Bosnia and Herzegovina (CRPD/C/BIH/1) on 27 March, Jordan (CRPD/C/JOR/1) on 28 March, Armenia (CRPD/C/ARM/1) on 29 March, Honduras (CRPD/C/HND/1) on 30 March and Canada (CRPD/C/CAN/1) on 3 April.

In private meetings, the Committee will consider the complaints submitted under the Optional Protocol to the Convention and the conduct of inquiries; review the progress made by the working group on the right to live independently and to be included in the community, established to draft a general comment on article 19; and consider the implementation of General Assembly resolution 68/268 on strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system.  Also, the Committee will adopt a list of issues on the report of Panama and lists of issues prior to reporting on El Salvador, Hungary, Peru and Spain, and will also adopt its biennial report to the General Assembly and to the Economic and Social Council. 

The country reports and other documents before the Committee including the programme of work, are accessible on its webpage, where the Committee’s findings, officially termed concluding observations, on the countries reviewed, will also be published.  Detailed meeting coverage can be found in English and French on the United Nations Information Service Geneva’s webpage.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Adopted on 13 December 2006 by the General Assembly, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force on 3 May 2008.  It is the first human rights treaty to be ratified by a regional integration organization, the European Union.

The Convention adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities, reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and promotes respect for their inherent dignity.  The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the body of 18 independent experts, monitors the implementation of the Convention by States parties.  The Optional Protocol to the Convention gives the Committee competence to examine individual complaints with regard to alleged violations of the Convention by States parties to the Protocol.

The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.  Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

States parties undertake to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability.  States Parties recognize that all persons are equal before and under the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law.  Specific measures which are necessary to accelerate or achieve de facto equality of persons with disabilities shall not be considered discrimination under the terms of the present Convention.

States parties reaffirm that every human being has the inherent right to life and have committed themselves to take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.  States Parties reaffirm that persons with disabilities have the right to recognition everywhere as persons before the law.  States Parties recognize that persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.

Each State party is obliged to submit to the Committee, through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a comprehensive report on measures taken to give effect to its obligations under the present Convention and on the progress made in that regard, within two years after the entry into force of the present Convention for the State Party concerned.  Thereafter, States parties shall submit subsequent reports at least every four years and further whenever the Committee so requests.

States Parties to the Convention

The Convention has been signed by 160 States, and ratified by 172 Parties - 171 States and one regional organization.

They are: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, European Union, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the first human rights convention to provide for ratification by regional integration organizations, such as the European Union, which ratified the Convention in December 2010.

Optional Protocol to the Convention

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals who claim to be victims of a violation of the provisions of the Convention by a State party.  The Optional Protocol was adopted on 13 December 2006 by the General Assembly and entered into force on 3 May 2008.

To date, 92 countries have ratified the Optional Protocol: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chile, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Rwanda, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Yemen and Zimbabwe.

Committee Membership

The members of the Committee are elected for a term of four years and shall be eligible for re-election once. The 18 independent experts are:

Mr. Ahmad Al Saif (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Danlami Umar Basharu (Nigeria), Mr. Munthian Buntan (Thailand), Mr. Imed Eddine Chaker (Tunisia), Ms. Theresia Degener (Germany), Mr. Jun Ishakawa (Japan), Mr. Samuel Njuguna Kabue (Kenya), Mr. Hyung Shik Kim (Republic of Korea), Mr. Stig Langvad (Denmark),  Mr. Lászlo Gábor Lovaszy (Hungary), Mr. Robert George Martin (New Zealand), Mr. Martin Babu Mwesigwa (Uganda), Mr. Carlos Alberto Parra Dussan (Colombia), Mr. Coomaravel Pyaneandee (Mauritius), Mr. Valery Nikitich Rukhledev (Russian Federation), Mr. Jonas Ruskus (Lithuania), Mr. Damjan Tatic (Serbia), and  Mr. Liang You (China).

At the beginning of the seventeenth session, the Committee swear in newly elected members of the Committee and will elect its Chair and other officers.

Programme of Work

Monday, 20 March
3 p.m.           Opening of the session
Solemn declaration of newly elected members
Election of the Chair and other officers
Adoption of the agenda and consideration of the programme of work

            Tuesday, 21 March
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
3 p.m.          Initial report of the Republic of Moldova (CRPD/C/MDA/1)
Wednesday, 22 March
10 a.m.         Republic of Moldova (continued)
3 p.m.          Initial report of Iran (CRPD/C/IRN/1)
Thursday, 23 March
10 a.m.         Iran (continued)
3 p.m.          Initial report of Cyprus (CRPD/C/CYP/1)
Friday, 24 March
10 a.m.         Cyprus (continued)
3 p.m.          Closed meeting
Monday, 27 March
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
3 p.m.          Initial report of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CRPD/C/BIH/1)
Tuesday, 28 March
10 a.m.         Bosnia and Herzegovina (continued)
3 p.m.          Initial report of Jordan (CRPD/C/JOR/1)
Wednesday, 29 March
10 a.m.         Jordan (continued)
3 p.m.          Initial report of Armenia (CRPD/C/ARM/1) on 29 March
Thursday, 30 March
10 a.m.         Armenia (continued)
3 p.m.          Initial report of Honduras (CRPD/C/HND/1)
Friday, 31 March
10 a.m.         Honduras (continued)
3 p.m.          Closed meeting
Monday, 3 April
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
3 p.m.          Initial report of Canada (CRPD/C/CAN/1)
Tuesday, 4 April
10 a.m.         Canada (continued)
3 p.m.          Closed meeting
Wednesday, 5 April
Closed meetings
Thursday, 6 April
Closed meetings
Friday, 7 April
Closed meetings
Monday, 10 April
Closed meetings
Tuesday, 11 April
Closed meetings
Wednesday, 12 April
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
3 p.m.          Closed meeting
5 p.m.          Public closing of the session

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For use of the information media; not an official record

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