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Joint Statement by Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility

International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2014

On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we – the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility – would like to join our voices to:

Applaud the recent appointment by the Human Rights Council of the first Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities. With the creation of this new mandate the UN system continues to strengthen its efforts to recognize, promote, implement and monitor the rights of persons with disabilities.

Congratulate Member States and partners for promising advances in including the rights of persons with disabilities in a post-2015 development agenda which is sustainable, inclusive and accessible, and offer our continued support and collaboration to ensure that gained achievements are retained and that goals are translated into meaningful targets and indicators where persons with disabilities are reflected as holders of human rights, and as agents for and beneficiaries of development.

Welcome the steps taken by Members States to ensure the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies in line with article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), including through promoting a human rights-based approach to disability in the preparatory process of the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, held in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan, and the commitment of several stakeholders, as led by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Disaster Risk Reduction, the host country and the Nippon Foundation, to make the Conference fully accessible for persons with disabilities.

Encourage representatives of Member States attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, to take into consideration the impact of climate change in the lives of persons with disabilities and to include references to their rights and needs in the outcome document.

Emphasise that these processes and others alike must be guided by the CRPD and have human rights at their core. Ratification is an important first step; it is a commitment towards implementation. We therefore put forward a call for all stakeholders – Member States, the Human Rights Council, UN agencies, national human rights institutions, organizations of persons with disabilities and broader civil society – to work towards universal ratification of the CRPD and its Optional Protocol. With 151 contractual parties since 2006, the Convention has witnessed an impressive number of ratifications in a short period of time. This is clear evidence of the importance that States attach to filling the protection gap that previously rendered persons with disabilities invisible in human rights efforts. We look forward to embarking on the journey towards universal ratification together with all of you.

For further information on the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities and her mandate, please consult:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disability/SRDisabilities/Pages/SRDisabilitiesIndex.aspx

Contact: sr.disability@ohchr.org

For further information on the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, please consult: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx

Contact: crpd@ohchr.org

For further information on the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility, please contact: se.disability@unog.ch