D.N.I.S. News Network, India: The Second Conference of State Parties to U.N.C.R.P.D. was held on September 2 and 3 in New York. The Conference this year focused on legislative measures to implement the Convention.
The first session was opened by Ambassador Claude Heller of Mexico, President of the Conference. The morning and first half of the afternoon session featured statements from diplomats and representatives from various countries. These countries reflected upon their experiences in implementing U.N.C.R.P.D., and in particular their attempts to ensure that domestic legislation is consistent with the provisions of the Convention. They highlighted examples of national disability strategies, and legislative and programmatic measures undertaken to promote inclusion of people with disabilities. They also discussed examples of measures taken to monitor the effectiveness of such initiatives.
Most speakers emphasized the need for governments to fully consult with people with disabilities early in processes to develop national strategies, so that such strategies reflect the input of those with lived experience of disability. A number of speakers acknowledged that their countries are not yet in full compliance with the Convention, but expressed their commitment to continuing to work to realize the vision set forth in U.N.C.R.P.D.
There were concurrent side events addressing the definition of disability, supported decision making under Article 12, and the role of national human rights institutions and civil society in protecting and monitoring the rights of persons with disabilities.
On the second day of the Conference, morning session began with a second round table addressing equal recognition before the law, access to justice and supported decision making.
Many States indicated that they considered these issues to be of great importance and that they would approach implementation carefully. A number of speakers noted that in many countries there is much that needs to be done in order to achieve the paradigm shift articulated in the Convention. The concurrent sessions of the second day dealt with universal design of the built environment, the Millennium Development Goals (M.D.G.s), etc. In the afternoon session, there was an informal discussion on the extensive impact of the current global economic crisis on people with disabilities, and the need to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities in any strategies to address the crisis.
Most members observed that there is a need to address the stereotyping and stigmatization of people with disabilities, so that governments and private sector employers view people with disabilities as full citizens who are capable of contributing productively to society.
The day concluded with a side event focused on integrating disability perspective in the M.D.G.s.Click here to read Disabled Peoplesí Internationalís full report on Day 1 of the Conference