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Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities concludes its eighteenth session

Committee on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities

 31 August 2017

ROUNDUP

Adopts Concluding Observations and Recommendations on Reports of Panama, Morocco, Montenegro, Latvia, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities this afternoon concluded its eighteenth session, during which it reviewed the initial reports of Panama, Morocco, Montenegro, Latvia, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom on the implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; adopted a General Comment N°5 on the right to independent living and to be included in the community; and endorsed a draft General Comment on non-discrimination (article 5).

The Secretary of the Committee read out the decisions adopted by the Committee during the session, noting that the Committee had adopted concluding observations in relation to the initial reports of Latvia, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Morocco, Panama and the United Kingdom, as well as list of issues under the simplified reporting procedure in relation to Argentina, Australia, Ecuador and Tunisia.  In its consideration of the communications and inquiry procedures pursuant to articles 6 and 7 of the Optional Protocol, the Committee found violations in two of them, one in relation to persons with albinism and another concerning the denial of legal support in the context of the judicial system.  One communication was declared inadmissible and one was discontinued. 

The Committee adopted a General Comment on the right to independent living and to be included in the community (article 19); organized a day of general discussion on article 5 of the Convention on non-discrimination; and endorsed a draft General Comment on article 5 and decided to make a call for submission to all interested stakeholders, with the deadline on 1 November 2017.  The Committee decided to initiate the process towards the adoption of a General Comment on article 4.3 and 33.3 in the near future.

A representative of the International Disability Alliance took stock of the progress the Committee had made in its nine years of existence, including the consideration of 63 initial reports, the adoption of the fifth General Comment on the right to independent living and to be included in the community, and the ongoing work on the adoption of General Comment on non-discrimination.  Particularly appreciated was the day of general discussion on non-discrimination and a round-table discussion with civil society organizations, treaty bodies, specialized United Nations agencies, academia and other stakeholders who provided valuable inputs.  Commending the improved accessibility of the Committee’s meetings, the International Disability Alliance noted with regret that interactive dialogues with States parties were not webcast in the national language, and urged the United Nations to do more to increase accessibility, including through a greater use of webcast and sign language interpretation.

Theresia Degener, Committee Chairperson, in her closing remarks, welcomed the eight States that had joined the membership of the Convention since the seventeenth session, namely Belarus, the Central African Republic, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Fiji, Iceland, Micronesia, Samoa and Suriname.  It was a busy session in which much was achieved, Ms. Degener said, and then closed the session.

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

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 Committee will hold its nineteenth session from 14 February to 9 March 2018 during which it will examine the reports of Haiti, Nepal, Russia, Sudan, Slovenia and Seychelles.

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For use of the information media; not an official record

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