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Human Rights Council holds annual debate on rights of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies

Human Rights Council
MORNING

4 March 2016 

Hears Opening Remarks by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Human Rights Council today held its annual interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities, with a focus on persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies, the standards set by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in its article 11, and the policies and practices developed under its guidance.

In his opening remarks, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that in conflict and emergency situations, people with disabilities were often disproportionately and acutely at risk.  Organizers of emergency responses too often failed to enable persons with disabilities to participate in planning, a failure often resulting in inadequate and inaccessible facilities.  Many of the barriers faced by persons with disabilities were entirely avoidable, not only in the course of emergency management, but in every social context.  The World Humanitarian Summit in May offered an opportunity to take real steps toward change. 

Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, said that humanitarian emergencies had a severer impact on persons with disabilities, who lacked access to warning systems, evacuation plans and involvement in the preparation and response to emergency situations.  There should be a human rights-based approach to inclusive humanitarian responses, and a gender-based approach to all phases of humanitarian action targeting persons with disabilities. 

Diane Kingston, Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said it was important to ensure accessibility, non-discrimination, and gender-sensitive article 11-response.  It was also important to ensure that persons with disabilities had access to information on humanitarian aid or emergency procedures, that internally displaced persons with disabilities were registered, and that accessibility services were provided to asylum seekers with disabilities.   

Kirstin Lange, Senior Disability Advisor at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said that a key aspect of UNHCR’s focus in working with persons with disabilities was to build new partnerships between humanitarian and disability actors.  Ensuring the protection of persons with disabilities in situations of risk required a shift towards persons with disabilities being systematically included across all areas of humanitarian response.

Setareki Macanawai, Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Disability Forum, said that emergency responses were often neither accessible to nor inclusive of persons with disabilities because they very often did not take into account the rights, experiences, expertise and needs of persons with disabilities.  A proactive approach was needed in order to identify and remove barriers to persons with disabilities from having access to preparedness, prevention, mitigation and relief services and programmes. 

Myroslava Tataryn, Regional Inclusion Adviser at Handicap International, regretted the lack of mechanisms by which disability-targeted violence could be reported and tracked, which would end impunity for perpetrators.  Without global standards guiding inclusive practices for persons with disabilities, steps to enhance access to services would remain ad-hoc, relying solely on the good intentions of isolated service providers. 

During the debate, speakers recognized that conflicts and natural disasters affected disproportionately the most disadvantaged, particularly persons with disabilities, whose needs were insufficiently addressed by international humanitarian aid providers.  Speakers underlined the importance of inclusiveness at all stages, and stressed the necessity for international cooperation and financial support in that regard. 

Taking the floor during the debate were representatives of the European Union, Kuwait on behalf of the Arab Group, Dominican Republic on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, South Africa on behalf of the African Group, Thailand on behalf of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention’s Committee on Victim Assistance, Mexico, India, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Senegal, China, France, Austria, Georgia, Egypt, New Zealand, Finland, Paraguay, Japan, Nepal, Tunisia, Russian Federation, Canada, Italy,  Philippines, Iran, Portugal, Spain, Sudan, South Africa, Bulgaria, Australia, Indonesia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Estonia, Brazil and Ecuador.  United Nations Children Fund also took the floor.

Verein Sudwind Entwicklungspolitik, Canners International Permanent Committee, Human Rights Watch, Pan-African Union for Science and Technology, and Arab Commission for Human Rights also spoke. 

The Council is having a full day of meeting today.  At noon, it will conclude its clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the prevention of genocide, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.  It will then start its clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities and the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights of persons with albinism.

Opening Statement

ZEID RA’AD AL HUSSEIN, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that today was the first time he would address the Council on the key issue of the rights of persons with disabilities.  Today’s very grim humanitarian landscape included an almost unimaginable number of crises and the United Nations was struggling to meet the needs of emergencies in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Yemen, Burundi, the Central African Republic, in the countries around Lake Chad which had been attacked by Boko Haram, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Mali, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Somalia, Sudan, and in Ukraine.  Many of the conflicts were brutal internal conflicts which were characterized by what he called “shocking disregard” for fundamental norms regarding the protection of civilians.  Climate change meant seeing very serious natural disasters in many parts of the world.  In all those conflict and emergency situations, people with disabilities were often disproportionately and acutely at risk. 

In situations of imminent danger, families might face the impossible choice to leave a family member with a disability behind.  When they did manage to flee conflict, emergencies or disasters, persons with disabilities might not be given the assistance that they required, and which was their right.  Organizers of emergency responses too often failed to enable persons with disabilities to participate in planning, a failure often resulting in inadequate and inaccessible facilities.  That was an appalling violation of the most fundamental human rights principles.  The inclusion of persons with disabilities should be viewed as a normal, indeed vital part of any humanitarian response.  Ten years ago, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had operated a “sea-change” in the approach to persons with disabilities in international law.  Previously viewed as objects of international charity, they became fully equal subjects of law.  The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development represented another large step forward for persons with disabilities, he said, enumerating relevant goals within the Agenda.  They included Goal 17, on data and accessibility, which would make persons with disabilities far more “visible” to planners through the improvement of the availability of disaggregated data.  He encouraged Member States to involve persons with disabilities in the reporting processes toward the first review of the Agenda, which would be undertaken by the High-Level Forum in July.

Recent years had seen heightened attention to the rights of persons with disabilities by the Security Council, many regional organizations and the United Nations humanitarian system as a whole.  The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction contained vital steps toward the greater inclusion of persons with disabilities in programmes and measures designed to prevent, or minimize the risk of disasters, but greater focus was needed on the needs and voices of persons with disabilities in planning for emergency responses.  The World Humanitarian Summit in May offered an opportunity to take real steps toward change.  He encouraged States to support the broad participation of civil society groups in the Social Forum in October, which would identify key challenges for years to come under the 2030 Agenda.  Many of the barriers faced by persons with disabilities were entirely avoidable, not only in the course of emergency management, but in every social context.  Discrimination against persons with disabilities was intolerable, and preventing them from sharing in the common tasks of society harmed all of society. 

Statements by the Panellists

CATALINA DEVANDAS AGUILAR, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, said that humanitarian emergencies, including the situation in Syria and climate change, had a severer impact on disadvantaged groups, including persons with disabilities.  Warning systems were not available to them, and evacuation plans did not take their needs into account.  There was a lack of training and awareness among humanitarian aid workers on their needs.  It was necessary to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all phases of preparation and response to emergency situations.  There should be a human rights-based approach to inclusive humanitarian responses, and a gender-based approach to all phases of humanitarian action targeting persons with disabilities.  Persons with disabilities should be involved in decision-making.  Armed conflicts were where the most work needed to be done, and the Security Council should be involved in efforts to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities.  The result of the World Humanitarian Summit should include guidelines on humanitarian response and persons with disabilities. 

DIANE KINGSTON, Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said it was important to develop standards for ensuring that persons with disabilities had access to information on humanitarian aid or emergency procedures.  In eastern Ukraine, children with disabilities were left behind when emergency procedures were launched.  Internally displaced persons with disabilities had to be systematically registered, especially in eastern Ukraine.  The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had developed standards for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in national emergency response plans and protocols.  Europe lacked accessibility services for asylum seekers with disabilities.  The Committee had asked for mainstreaming policies on disabilities within the European Union’s response to the migrant crisis.  The needs of for the inclusion of persons with disabilities had to be taken into account in refugee camps, in Kenya for example.   The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had issued its General Comment no. 2 on accessibility, which contained useful guidance for States.  The Committee was asking for accessibility, non-discrimination, and gender-sensitive article 11-response. 

KIRSTIN LANGE, Senior Disability Advisor, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, reminded that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities applied to all persons with disabilities, regardless of their legal status or nationality.  It provided a valuable tool for the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities displaced by armed conflict and other humanitarian emergencies, including refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons.  A key aspect of UNHCR’s focus in working with persons with disabilities was to build new partnerships between humanitarian and disability actors, including Disabled Persons Organizations and Organizations of Persons with Disabilities.  They could play a valuable role in building the capacity of humanitarian actors to implement an inclusive approach, in advocating for the rights of displaced persons with disabilities, and in strengthening linkages between displaced and host communities.  Ensuring the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk required a shift towards persons with disabilities being systematically included across all areas of humanitarian response, rather than disability being seen as a discrete sector or area of work.

SETAREKI MACANAWAI, Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Disability Forum, stated that it was widely reported that situations of disaster had the largest impact on the poorest and most marginalized people.  It could not be ignored that 80 per cent of persons with disabilities lived in developing countries and that the majority of them lived below the poverty line.  It could also not be forgotten that invisibility, exclusion and segregation remained huge barriers faced by persons with disabilities both in developed and developing countries.  Emergency responses were often neither accessible to nor inclusive of persons with disabilities because they very often did not take into account the rights, experiences, expertise and needs of persons with disabilities.  A proactive approach was needed in order to identify and remove barriers to persons with disabilities from having access to preparedness, prevention, mitigation and relief services and programmes.  Disability disaster risk reduction could not be implemented alone.  It required a multi-stakeholder approach adopting a working strategy with all of society strengthening synergies across stakeholders.  International cooperation, whether North-South, South-South or triangular, were important for disaster risk reduction.  At the same time, it was important that all multilateral cooperation for development and humanitarian collaboration were inclusive of and benefited from persons with disabilities.

MYROSLAVA TATARYN, Regional Inclusion Adviser, Handicap International, said that she would raise three issues of urgent concern: the greater marginalization of people with disabilities in crises, the invisibility of persons with disabilities impacted by humanitarian crises, and people with disabilities’ lack of access to humanitarian services ostensibly in place to serve all people affected by the crisis at hand.  In situations of crisis, persons with disabilities were targets of violence.  To date, there was no mechanism by which disability-targeted violence could be reported and tracked.  Worldwide collection and reporting of cases could end impunity for perpetrators.  When “specific needs” were tracked during the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ registration process, only the most severe cases were recorded.  Ten years after the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had been adopted, their marginalization persisted.  Without global standards guiding inclusive practices for persons with disabilities, steps to enhance access to services would remain ad-hoc, relying solely on the good intentions of isolated service providers.  Changes would not be sustainable until the principles of accessibility and inclusion were systematically required by Member States and United Nations agencies. 

Interactive Dialogue

European Union said that the European Union Council adopted in March 2015 conclusions on disability-inclusive disaster management, while the European Commission was currently working on a new comprehensive policy approach to address protracted forced displacement through both humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.  Kuwait, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, said that armed conflicts had had an impact on social services, which had affected persons with disabilities disproportionately, and underlined that the priority now was to combat terrorism.  Dominican Republic, speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, noted with satisfaction that the need to adopt inclusive risk management policies and humanitarian responses had become more visible, and recognized the importance of including persons with disabilities for reconstruction measures.  South Africa, speaking on behalf of the African Group, said that the African Union draft Protocol on persons with disabilities included provisions aimed at ensuring that humanitarian aid was inclusive, and said that adequate resource allocation was key to address the needs of persons with disabilities.  Thailand, speaking on behalf of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention’s Committee on Victim Assistance, underlined the importance of data collection and disaggregated information on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian response and post-conflict situations.  Mexico asked what measures could be taken to identify persons with disabilities prior to emergency response and after, and asked what type of protocols should be applied to guarantee that evacuations took the needs of persons with disabilities into account.  
 
India highlighted the interrelatedness and connectedness of all the rights of persons with disabilities.  The Indian national legislative framework provided for the full participation of persons with disabilities in society, and it aimed to respond to their needs.  United Arab Emirates underlined that a human rights-based approach to the rights of persons with disabilities would ensure that they were included in the design of policies with respect to disaster and risk situations, and emergencies.   Israel stated that it was faced with many emergencies due to the armed conflict and it thus designated a particular body to prepare the public for situations of emergency, which focused on providing service to persons with disabilities.  Senegal said it had engaged in a process to reinforce its legal framework in order to guarantee and safeguard the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities in the area of health, education, employment and social integration.  China reminded that the issue of disability had been integrated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and accordingly in 2015 China had also adopted such an approach in its national policies.   France noted that persons with disabilities were rarely an object of attention in the management of humanitarian emergencies, which reduced their access to relevant resources.  The situation of women and girls with disabilities was of particular concern. 

Verein Sudwind Entwicklungspolitik asked the panellists how many States had already used the key related recommendations of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction regarding persons with disabilities and whether States, especially those with mega-cities on earthquake fault lines, had already established emergency-related plans for persons with disabilities.  Canners International Permanent Committee said that the human rights based approach to persons with disabilities required a break with traditional attitudes, adding that disability could result in discrimination.  Human Rights Watch said that during the past year, the organization had documented how persons with disabilities were particularly affected by conflict-driven conditions in, among other situations, the European refugee crisis, finding that persons with disabilities faced added risks of abandonment, neglect, and lack of equal access to humanitarian aid during conflict and displacement.

Response by the Panellists

CATALINA DEVANDAS AGUILAR, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, said that persons with disabilities should be consulted to identify what their needs were.  They should speak for themselves as direct agents for change.  International cooperation had to be inclusive of persons with disabilities.  There were good examples of this in Finland. 

DIANE KINGSTON, Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities did not refer to the prevention of disabilities, but addressed the needs of persons with an existing disability.

KIRSTIN LANGE, Senior Disability Advisor at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, noted the importance of supporting host communities in situations of forced displacement, hence strengthening their capacities to address the needs of refugees with disabilities.   
 
SETAREKI MACANAWAI, Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Disability Forum, responding to a question posed by the Indian delegation, clarified that when it came to saving the lives of persons with disabilities in natural disasters, it was important to adopt a community-based approach to the management of natural disasters.  A community-based approach would guarantee that persons with disabilities were included in the design of disaster management policies and decision-making.

MYROSLAVA TATARYN, Regional Inclusion Adviser at Handicap International, noted that mainstream service providers still did not have the necessary skills and experiences on how to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities.  There was a need to make all shelters accessible to persons with disabilities.  It was important to know how to adapt and listen to people’s needs.  That was particularly important in the case of refugees with disabilities.  For that reason Handicap International had held meetings with refugees with disabilities in Lebanon in order to provide specific capacity-building training with a focus on disability.

Interactive Dialogue

Austria said that every day, Austrian authorities tried to ensure that urgent assistance was provided to refugees in need of help.  It asked the panel to enumerate concrete measures that the international community could take to address the specific needs of women and girls with disabilities in situations of risk.  Georgia said that the Convention applied throughout the continuum of humanitarian emergencies, whether in situations of conflict, foreign occupation, or natural disaster, adding that in her country, due to the foreign military occupation of two regions, persons were deprived of their basic human rights and freedoms.  Egypt encouraged the Special Rapporteur and other international human rights mechanisms to consider dedicating a future stand-alone study to the rights of persons with disabilities under foreign occupation, where the implementation of Article 11 faced unmatched obstacles.

New Zealand said that lessons learned from the experiences of persons with disabilities in the Canterbury earthquakes were informing the country’s dialogue on improving the safety of its population during future high risk events, adding that it had nominated a person with a learning disability for election to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for the 2017-2020 term, Robert Martin.  Finland said it was crucial that Member States seized the opportunity provided by the World Humanitarian Summit to recommit themselves to international humanitarian principles and law, and asked the panellists what in their view should be the minimum standards and guidelines on disability inclusion in humanitarian action.  Paraguay noted its own recent launch of a new national action plan for persons with disabilities which had the technical cooperation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and exhorted mandate holders to give follow-up to provide greater incentives to governments to take on such measures.

Japan said it had revised its Disaster Countermeasures Basic Act in 2013, which now required heads of municipal governments to prepare a list of persons who required special assistance in seeking refuge and evacuation.  Nepal stated that it was taking necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies.  Tunisia noted that it had ensured the access of persons with disabilities to health, transportation and information in cases of natural emergencies.  The rights of persons with disabilities had to be included in all national plans and policies.  Russian Federation stated that the rights of persons with disabilities in the Russian Federation were widely protected by the national legal framework, as well as concrete legal acts dealing with emergency situations.  Canada warned that persons with disabilities were rarely included as active participants in planning, implementing and monitoring emergency response, or when assessing the impact of emergencies on populations.  Italy noted that persons with disabilities made up 15 per cent of the world’s population and that they were one of the most vulnerable groups and were disproportionately affected by natural catastrophes and humanitarian emergencies.  

Pan-African Union for Science and Technology said that persons with disabilities often lived  on the margins of society, and listed relevant United Nations statistics related to persons with disabilities, including literacy rates.  Arab Commission for Human Rights said that in the context of recurrent humanitarian crises, women, children and refugees were often the victims of double or even triple marginalization, asking the panel to enumerate good practices concerning poverty related to disabilities, as well as recommendations of the panel to the World Humanitarian Summit.  United Nations Children’s Fund said that the voices of children with disabilities were largely silent in critical decisions affecting their lives, because adults due to prejudice and negative attitudes had low expectations of them.  The Special Rapporteur was commended for highlighting the invisibility and exclusion of children with disabilities. 

Philippines listed national measures undertaken in the spirit of promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, adding that as a country which experienced natural disasters every year, preparation was proactively undertaken for emergencies, which included the particular needs of those in the most vulnerable situations.  Iran said that nationally, family solidarity played a pivotal role in disaster management, adding that family members never left behind those with special needs.  Those who risked their lives for persons with disabilities and older persons were praised and adored by their communities and the whole society.  Portugal expressed particular concern with the realization of the rights of persons with mental disorders and psycho-social disabilities, and asked panellists for their views on what a human rights-based approach would need to encompass in order to address the specific needs of those persons in situations of risk and to ensure their inherent dignity.  
 
Spain stated that there was no doubt that the paradigm shift of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, based on the social model of disability, permeated policies and actions of States in order to deal with situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies.  Sudan pledged to take all the necessary measures to ensure the rights of persons in situations of risk and emergencies.  South Africa stressed that emergency policies and decisions should reflect the views and needs of persons with disabilities.  International cooperation and assistance remained crucial to effectively address these issues.  Bulgaria said it undertook sustained and coordinated measures for creating opportunities and improving the well-being of persons with disabilities, with a special focus on children and youth.  Australia strongly advocated for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all humanitarian action, in line with States’ obligations under the Convention, as well as its inclusion in humanitarian action at the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.  Indonesia said the Government had been strengthening its policy and capacity in the management of disaster, including reducing the numbers of affected people and protecting their economic and social life.  

Venezuela said it was timely to tackle the situation of persons with disabilities during humanitarian and other disasters.  Venezuela had promoted campaigns and workshops for persons with disabilities with information about preventive measures and other initiatives in this direction.   Saudi Arabia said it gave great care to ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities and had initiated numerous measures in this direction, including public transportation at low prices, providing daily and home care as well as assistive technical and medical devises, providing privileges for housing and education, and obliging banks to provide persons with disabilities with sign language interpreters.  Libya stressed the importance of effectively implementing Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and taking steps to ensure the safety of persons with disabilities, including in armed conflict.  The humanitarian response had to take into account principles of non-discrimination as well as empowering persons with disabilities, promoting international cooperation and sharing best practices.

Estonia was committed to improving the prevention of accidents and protecting persons with disabilities in situations of risk and emergency.  Some of the best practices ensuring the safety of persons with disability were enabling text messaging with the police, emergency buttons, video materials concerning fire safety, and training to rescuers.  Brazil said it was crucial to foster cooperation networks and dialogue on good practices for disaster risk reduction and highlighted the Sendai Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, especially with reference to the rights of persons with disabilities.  The new law on the Inclusion of Persons with Disability adopted in Brazil in 2015 entitled persons with disabilities to priority attention in all circumstances.  Ecuador said the discussion on Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in situations of emergency was necessary.  Greater protection to persons with disabilities in such times needed to be provided as these were a vulnerable category.  Situations of risk in humanitarian emergencies had to be seen from a wider viewpoint.

Concluding Remarks

CATALINA DEVANDAS AGUILAR, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, said it was crucial that all action was based on the Convention, in particular with respect to the principle of non-discrimination.  Those with psycho-social disabilities needed to be allowed to participate.  The gender issue was also important in considering disability.  Progress had been made in order to protect women with disabilities from violence.  However, there was a need to develop and adopt global standards and guidelines for the inclusion of disability in humanitarian action.  Coordination and global approach were crucial.
DIANE KINGSTON, Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, responded to questions about barriers to the implementation of Article 11 of the Convention.  Those were attitudinal, information and communication barriers, as well as the lack of universal design, budget and resources.  The paramount challenge was the failure to actively involve persons with disabilities in emergency management and preparedness.  It was crucial to ensure access of persons with psycho-social disabilities to all services.  They should never be detained on the basis of their disability.    

KIRSTIN LANGE, Senior Disability Advisor of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), stressed the importance of strengthening persons with disabilities in situations of armed conflict.  She gave an example of the work that UNHCR was doing with the Government of Finland on capacity building for refugees with disabilities.  All relevant actors were brought together: States, international organizations, and organizations of persons with disabilities.  As for the implementation gaps of Article 11 of the Convention, the key challenge was communication with the affected populations.   There should be access to feedback mechanisms, and to strengthened accountability to the affected population.  The diversity among persons with disabilities should be taken into account in that regard.

SETAREKI MACANAWAI, Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Disability Forum, speaking about the implementation gaps of Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, noted that it would be useful for States and other relevant stakeholders to consider other articles of the Convention.  For example, the issue of accessibility of buildings, enforcement and compliance of standards, and full participation of persons with disabilities in designing physical infrastructure.  Humanitarian agencies should ensure that they consulted with persons with disabilities.  He also thanked the Council for having given a voice to the Global South in the discussion.

MYROSLAVA TATARYN, Regional Inclusion Adviser at Handicap International, shared her enthusiasm for the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit and the creation of a charter on inclusive responses to humanitarian situations. The charter should contain guidelines for the implementation  and monitoring of humanitarian programmes.  She expressed hope that it would include disability markers for donors in order  to overcome some of the financial challenges. 

CHOI KYONGLIM, President of the Human Rights Council, said that there was a need for an inclusive approach to engaging persons with disabilities in all phases of designing, implementing and monitoring  of the services for persons with disabilities. There was also a need for internationally agreed guidelines that would facilitate the implementation of enhanced policies at the national level.  The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development should include the disability dimension.  All those steps should lead to the full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 
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