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Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities this afternoon closes its seventeenth session

Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

12 April 2017

ROUNDUP 

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities this afternoon closed its seventeenth session after adopting concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Cyprus, Honduras, Iran, Jordan and the Republic of Moldova on how they implement the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Committee also adopted a joint statement with the Committee on Migrant Workers on “Addressing disabilities in large-scale movements of refugees and migrants”, and two other statements, on gender balance and equitable geographical distribution in the election of members of the Committee, and on the situation of persons with disabilities in flooding and mudslides in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.  

Theresia Degener, Committee Chairperson, summarised the session during which the Committee had adopted concluding observations and recommendations on eight country reports, as well as seven lists of issues. The Committee further endorsed a draft General Comment on article 19 on the right to independent living and to be included in the community, and adopted an outline of the draft General Comment on article 5 on non-discrimination. The Committee had held a number of discussions with the United Nations on how to improve accessibility. In light of the changed gender balance among the Committee members, and the fact that only one member was a woman, the Chair thanked the Committee Experts for consistently raising the issue of multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination against women and girls with disabilities. 

A representative of the International Disability Alliance congratulated the Committee on the successfully completed session during which it had created important space to hear civil society and representative organizations of persons with disabilities, the review of a record number of States’ reports – eight, and the advances made on the drafting of General Comments. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was entering its second decade and it must be remembered that the rights of persons with disabilities still faced formidable challenges, including protection from multiple and intersectional discrimination. The International Disability Alliance also commended the Committee for consistently including the topic of the Sustainable Development Goals in its dialogue with States parties. 

The Secretary of the Committee said that the Committee had adopted concluding observations on initial reports of Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Cyprus, Honduras, Iran, Jordan, and the Republic of Moldova; it also adopted a list of issues in relation to the initial report of Panama and lists of issues under the simplified reporting procedure in relation to Spain, Hungary, Peru and El Salvador. The Committee endorsed a draft General Comment on the right to independent living and to be included in the community (article 19) presented by its working group and decided to call for submissions from all interested stakeholders by 30 June 2017. With regard to article 5 of the Convention (non-discrimination), the Committee adopted an outline of the General Comment and decided to hold a Day of General Discussion on 25 August 2017, and to make a call for submissions to all interested stakeholders with the deadline for submissions on 30 June 2017. The Committee adopted a statement on gender balance and equitable geographical distribution in the election of members of the Committee, and a statement on the situation of persons with disabilities in flooding and mudslides in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. It also adopted a joint statement with the Committee on Migrant Workers on “Addressing disabilities in large-scale movements of refugees and migrants”. The Committee decided that working languages during the biennium 2017-2018 would be English, Spanish and Russian. 

The concluding observations and recommendations on the reports considered during the seventeenth session will be available on the Committee’s website on 13 April 2017. 

The Committee’s public meetings in English, Spanish and Russian with closed captioning and International Sign Language, are webcast at http://webtv.un.org/

The eighteenth session of the Committee will be held from 14 to 31 August, during which the reports of Montenegro, Morocco, Panama, Latvia, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom will be reviewed. 

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For use of the information media; not an official record 

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