" LE NAZIONI UNITE E LA DISABILITÀ: NEWSLETTER DI MARZO 2012"
Le novità delle Nazioni Unite sul tema della disabilità per i lettori di P&D...
The Enable Newsletter is prepared by the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) at the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) within the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) with input from UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes, as well as from civil society. It is also available online at: http://www.un.org/disabilities.
In this issue:
- Status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
- Fifth session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD
- Highlights from the UN system
- Upcoming events
- Other news
STATUS OF THE CONVENTION (CRPD)
112 ratifications of the Convention
153 signatories to the Convention
Optional Protocol to the Convention:
64 ratifications of the Optional Protocol
90 signatories to the Optional Protocol
Mauritania ratified the Convention and its Optional Protocol on 3 April 2012
Bulgaria ratified the Convention on 22 March 2012
FIFTH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF STATES PARTIES
The fifth session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will be held from 12 to 14 September 2012 at UN Headquarters. Prior to the convening of the Conference, a Civil Society CRPD Forum will be organized on 11 September by the International Disability Alliance (IDA) with the support of DESA with a view to engage NGOs and DPOs in a discussion and promote coordinated civil society involvement in the Conference of States Parties and in preparation for the High-level meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development to be held on 23 September 2013. The Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) will also convene a Development Partners Forum in conjunction with the Conference. More information will be posted at: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?navid=46&pid=1595.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE UN SYSTEM
Experts to meet on accessibility, natural disasters and inclusive-development
Experts from around the world will meet in Tokyo from 19-21 April at the Nippon Foundation to address critical issues concerning accessibility. The special focus of the meeting will be on the promotion of accessible information and communication technologies (ICTs) and disability-inclusive natural disaster response and emergency management. The United Nations Expert Group Meeting entitled "Building an Inclusive Society and Development through Promoting Accessibility in Information and Communication Technologies: Emerging Issues and Trends" is organized by DESA, in close collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre in Tokyo and the Nippon Foundation. The experts will review current policies and regulations concerning ICT accessibility, technical standardization and guidance. They will also exchange innovative ideas and options for promoting ICT accessibility and disability inclusion, including those related to situations of natural disasters and emergencies. The meeting will conclude with recommendations for accessible and disability-inclusive development policies and guidelines. On the morning of 20 April, a special session will be held entitled: “Towards inclusive and disability responsive disaster and emergency response and management” that will highlight the lessons learned from the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. More information: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1596.
World Down Syndrome Day - 21 March
For the first time on 21 March, World Down Syndrome Day was commemorated at the United Nations and around the world. In December 2011, the General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day (A/RES/66/149). The General Assembly decided, with effect from 2012, to observe World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March each year. An event entitled: “Building our future” was held at UN Headquarters co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Brazil and Poland, DESA, UNICEF, Down Syndrome International and other stakeholders. To mark the Day, the UN Information Centre in Moscow partnered with the “Best Buddies” Fund and “Perspektiva”, a leading disability NGO, to organize a roundtable discussion on “Equal Rights for Persons with Down Syndrome”. The Secretary-General in his message for the Day said "On this day, let us reaffirm that persons with Down syndrome are entitled to the full and effective enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Let us each do our part to enable children and persons with Down syndrome to participate fully in the development and life of their societies on an equal basis with others. Let us build an inclusive society for all." More information: http://www.un.org/en/events/downsyndromeday/ and http://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org.
World Autism Awareness Day – 2 April
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) to highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder so they can lead full and meaningful lives. In his message, the Secretary-General said "The annual observance of World Autism Awareness Day is meant to spur such action and draw attention to the unacceptable discrimination, abuse and isolation experienced by people with autism and their loved ones. As highlighted by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, people with autism are equal citizens who should enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms”. To observe the Day at UN Headquarters, a series of commemorative events were held, including the launch of a new postage stamp by the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day. More information: http://www.un.org/en/events/autismday/.
Silent Shout in New York at UN Headquarters
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Department of Economic and DESA in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations will organize a flashmob mini-concert by Signmark on 17 April 2012 at the Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza (1 p.m.) and UN Headquarters Visitors’ Lobby (1.45 p.m.) in support of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Signmark (a.k.a. Marko Vuoriheimo) is a deaf rap artist from Finland, who uses his music and positive approach to change attitudes towards persons with disabilities. He has also been designated Special Representative of the Foreign Ministry of Finland in promoting the rights for persons with disabilities. More information: http://signmark.biz and
Disability at the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
The 11th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will be held at UN Headquarters from 7 to 18 May 2012. The special theme for this year’s session is "The Doctrine of Discovery: its enduring impact on indigenous peoples and the right to redress for past conquests (articles 28 and 37 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)". In conjunction with the Session, a panel discussion will be held on 11 May on the theme “Indigenous Persons with Disabilities: Overcoming Challenges to Achieving Rights and Inclusion in Development”. This side event will be organized by the Disability Rights Fund in collaboration with DESA, and sponsored by the Government of Australia. More information: http://social.un.org/index/IndigenousPeoples.aspx
HRC - Annual discussion on the Human Rights of persons with disabilities
During the annual discussion by the Human Rights Council (HRC) on the human rights of persons with disabilities, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, stated that the speed of the ratification process demonstrated the strong commitment of the international community to a society for all, in which persons with disabilities were entitled to the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with others. However, ratification alone was not sufficient to ensure the removal of barriers that continued to hinder the full and effective enjoyment of all civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights by persons with disabilities on an equal basis. More information: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11886&LangID=E.
Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The 7th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be held in Geneva, from 16-20 April. The Committee will consider the initial report of Peru and adopt lists of issues regarding the initial reports of China, Argentina, and Hungary. The Committee will discuss how to strengthen cooperation with United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, non-governmental organizations, including disabled persons’ organizations, and other competent bodies, to enhance the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. The Committee will review the progress of work of the various task forces established to draft the general comments decided on by the Committee. To date, the Committee has decided to establish task forces on accessibility (art. 9) and legal capacity (art. 12). Another task force on access to public transportation and airline policies was also established and will report to the Committee. The Committee will also review the compilation of proposals presented by States, civil society and other interested parties, and the recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights toward the strengthening of the treaty bodies. Complaints submitted under the Optional Protocol to the Convention will also be considered by the Committee, during the session. More information:
ESCAP: Conference on Disability-Inclusive MDGs and Aid Effectiveness
The Conference was held from 14 to 16 March 2012 in Bangkok and was organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Leonard Cheshire Disability. The meeting brought together experts from Government, the UN system, civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities, academia and other development partners. The policy recommendations from the Conference will feed into a new Asia-Pacific regional strategy to support a new decade to promote the rights of persons with disabilities (2013-2022), and provide actions to guide the remaining course of the MDGs, as well as contribute to a post-2015 development framework. In addition, the Conference participants representing a number of international development agencies discussed aid-effectiveness and the importance of including disability perspective in monitoring and evaluation in efforts to mainstream disability in development cooperation. More information: http://unlcdcon.tumblr.com and http://www.lcdisability.org/aideffectiveness.
UNICEF – Promoting children with disabilities in international development
UNESCO – Report on accessible ICTs for students with disabilities
UNESCO, along with Microsoft Corporation, launched a report on “Accessible ICTs and Personalized Learning for Students with Disabilities” at the International Conference on Assistive Technology and Persons with Disabilities on 1 March 2012 in San Diego, USA. The new report summarizes the multi-stakeholder discussion organized at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 17 to 18 November 2011. The discussion focused on challenges of and practical solutions for promoting personalization through technology in the classrooms for students, particularly with learning difficulties and physical disabilities. The report highlights successful case studies and provides recommendations on how educators and students could use existing technological solutions in classrooms, as well as how UNESCO’s ICT Competences Framework for Teachers could be applied for teachers’ capacity building on issues related to accessibility. The key recommendations on practical solutions for the use of accessible ICTs contained in the report target teachers, policy makers and administrators. The meeting in Paris had concluded that national authorities and Governments face significant human rights and educational specific goals and challenges in relation to the provision of education for children with disabilities. The major tendency in new policy approaches is towards inclusive education. Whatever the policy environment is, accessible ICTs can significantly empower children with disabilities to participate in lessons, to communicate and to learn more effectively. More information: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/resources/news-and-in-focus-articles/all-news/news/unesco_launches_report_on_accessible_icts_for_students_with_disabilities/
UPCOMING EVENTS IN 2012
(We welcome information from the general public on key international disability events for inclusion in the list below.)
2 April: World Autism Awareness Day
The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) to highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder so they can lead full and meaningful lives. More information: http://www.un.org/en/events/autismday/index.shtml.
16 to 20 April: 7th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
(See item above)
9-21 April: UN Expert Group Meeting on ICT Accessibility
(See item above)
23 to 27 April: 45th Commission on Population and Development
The Commission on Population and Development will hold its forty-fifth session from 23 to 27 April 2012 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The theme of the session is "Adolescents and Youth". DESA along with other stakeholders will organize a side-event on disability during the session of the Commission. More information: http://csonet.org/index.php?page=view&nr=48&type=13&menu=14.
7-18 May: 11th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
(See item above)
15 May: Interactive session on “Innovative use of ICTs for Accessible Education”
UNESCO will organize and event at the WSIS Forum 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland, on 15 May from 16:15 to 18:00, Room XI at the ILO building. More information: http://www.wsis.org/forum.
15 to 18 May: Interdependence 2012 Conference and Exposition
As part of the 25th Anniversary of Rick Hansen’s legendary Man In Motion World Tour, the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) and the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) are co-hosting a global conference and exposition to inspire collaboration in the pursuit of a more healthy and inclusive world. More information: http://www.rickhansen.com/en-ca/home/interdependence2012.aspx.
23 to 25 May: ESCIF Congress 2012
The European Spinal Cord Injury Federation (ESCIF) Congress and Assembly of Delegates 2012 will be held in Lucignano, Italy. The theme of the Congress is the impact of the on-going economic crisis on the lives of people with SCI. The aim is to exchange information and to reach agreement on actions that can be taken in ESCIF member countries. More information: http://www.escif.org.
6 to 8 June: Beijing Disability Forum
The China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF), a Chinese national umbrella organization of and for persons with disabilities with Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), will organize the Forum under the theme: "Removing barriers, promoting social integration". The Forum will work to support the implementation of the CRPD and further promote disability-inclusive development. The Forum will provide an opportunity to discuss strategic approaches, share good practices and options, with a view to advance the international development agenda towards 2015 and beyond. The outcome and recommendation of the Forum are expected to contribute to preparations for the High-level Intergovernmental Conference on the Final Review of the Implementation of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons ( 2003-2012) to be convened in November 2012, as well as the UN High-level Meeting on Disability and Development to be held in September 2013.
20-22 June: Rio+20 Conference
Organized to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, the Rio+20 Conference will include Heads of State and Government to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, as well as address new and emerging issues. Visit the Rio+20 website at: http://www.uncsd2012.org. SCRPD/DESA has prepared an information brief that provides options for the inclusion of disability in the Rio+20 Zero Outcome Document. Download a copy of the brief at:
11 to 13 June: Universal Design Conference 2012
Universal design in public spaces is the main focus of the Conference to be held in Oslo, Norway. The Conference will cover issues related to universal design in planning, legislation, education, buildings, outdoor areas, information and communications technologies (ICT) and public transport. More information: http://www.ud2012.no.
22 to 27 July: XIX International AIDS Conference
The Conference will take place from 2012 in Washington, DC, and will present scientific knowledge as well as facilitate dialogue on the major issues facing the global response to HIV. The conference will include a Disability Zone at the Global Village as well as a skills building workshop on Disability Inclusive NSPs. The conference will be preceded by a disability and HIV leadership forum, a full day advocacy training on 21 July conducted by AIDS-Free World in collaboration with Disabled Peoples' International and Gallaudet University. More information: http://www.aids2012.org and http://ww.aidsfreeworld.org.
12 to 14 September: 5th Conference of States Parties to the CRPD
(See item above)
17 to 21 September: TRANSED 2012
The 13th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED 2012) will be held in New Delhi, India. More information: http://www.transed2012.in.
17 to 28 September: 8th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
25 to 28 October: Inclusion International Global Inclusion Conference
At this International event to be held in Washington, DC, participants from all over the world will come together to widely discuss the implications of Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Living independently and being included in the community. Inclusion International’s two year Campaign to promote Art.19 will culminate at the Conference with the launch of a Global Report. More information: http://ww.thearc.org and http://www.inclusion-international.org.
29 October to 2 November: Rehabilitation International World Congress
The Rehabilitation International (RI) World Congress aims at social inclusion and implementation of rights for persons with disabilities. Held every four years, the World Congress seeks to provide a forum for the exchange of experience and information on research and practice regarding various disability issues on international and regional levels. More information at http://www.riincheon2012.org/
8 to 18 November: WBU/ICEVI General Assemblies
World Blind Union (WBU) and International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) will convene joint General Assemblies and associated events in Bangkok, Thailand. Events include: African Union of the Blind General Assembly, WBU Diversity Forum, WBU General Assembly, ICEVI General Assembly and events, and joint programme days between WBU and ICEVI. More information: http://www.wbu-icevi2012.org.
26 to 28 November: 1st CBR World Congress
The first Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Congress entitled: “CBR: The Key to Realising CRPD” will be held in Agra, India. More information: www.cbrglobal.org or http://www.apcdfoundation.org/ecafe/en/node/12322.
UPCOMING EVENTS IN 2013
23 September 2013: High-level Meeting on Disability
The UN General Assembly adopted resolution 66/124 and decided to convene a one-day high-level meeting of the General Assembly on disability at the level of Heads of State and Government on 23 September 2013, the Monday before the start of the General Debate of the sixty-eighth session. More information: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1590.
16 to 18 October: 2nd International Conference of the World Federation of the Deaf
The Conference hosted by the Deaf Society of NSW, Australia is themed “Equality for Deaf People” will be held in Sydney, Australia. More information: http://www.wfdsydney2013.com.
(DISCLAIMER: The information below is provided by civil society organizations and others for informational purposes only. This does not constitute endorsement of, or an approval by, the United Nations of any of the products, services, or opinions of the organization or individual. The United Nations bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of their statements and opinions.)
“We Know No Barriers” Concert Istanbul/ Turkey
On occasion of Turkey’s National Disability Week from 10 to 16 May 2012, the World Disability Foundation and the World Disability Union will organize an event in Istanbul on 10 May. The event, the first of its kind in the world, will feature the visually impaired musician Mr Metin Senturk, the President of the World Disability Foundation and the World Disability Union, who will conduct the Cinema Symphony Orchestra, composed of 60 musicians and will sing all-time favourites in Turkish, English, Italian and Albanian. The aim of this event is to raise awareness about disability issues and promote the universal message of the World Disability Union. More information: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=304909796248677&set=a.221188921287432.54260.210661559006835&type=1&theater.
Transforming Education – 2012 WISE Awards
The annual WISE Awards identify, showcase and promote successful innovative projects from all sectors and from all regions of the world in order to inspire change in education. Under the theme “Transforming Education”, the 2012 WISE Awards will recognize six projects for their concrete, positive impact upon society. One of the 2012 WISE Awards will be for a project that has best delivered innovative financing for primary education, which supports the UN Millennium Development Goal 2 on achieving universal primary education. WISE invites project holders in any sector and at any level of education to submit applications that demonstrate the quality and impact of their activities in accordance with the criteria stated in the regulations. Deadline for submission: 31 May 2012. More information: http://www.wise-qatar.org/awards.
International Disability Summer School
Young Voices campaign to improve access to Chinese heritage sites
A small group of young people with disabilities in China have made history by using social media to make parts of the ancient Forbidden City of Beijing accessible to people with disabilities. During the Paralympics in Beijing, some provisions and adaptations were made to make the famous site more accessible for tourists with disabilities. But the adaptations were seen as a temporary measure. Young Voices campaigned to retain the adaptations to ensure public access to the site for all. Young Voices are currently working with the China Disabled Person Federation to tackle accessibility issues at the Great Wall of China. More information: http://www.lcdisability.org/?lid=22355.
Call for participation in the Israel Research Forum on the CRPD
Indian committee to improve air travel for passengers with disabilities
The Ministry of Civil Aviation in India established a committee on the “Rights of Passengers with Disabilities and Reduced Mobility” to review the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in air travel and provide recommendations to make air travel more accessible. Using the CRPD as a backdrop, the Committee will review issues beginning with the booking of tickets; arrival at the airport; checking-in, issues related to location and design of facilities like toilets, wheelchair access, check-in counters; issues at security-checks; boarding of aircraft, seating in aircraft, disembarking, and the collection of luggage. More information: http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/23/indian-government-sets-up-committee-on-rights-of-air-passengers-with-disabilities/.
Including persons with disabilities in web accessibility development
Involving persons with disabilities from the beginning of a project helps you better understand accessibility issues and implement more effective accessibility solutions. W3C WAI resource "Involve Users in Web Projects for Better, Easier Accessibility” provides pointers on: finding a range of users; working with users; analyzing accessibility issues; drawing conclusions and reporting; and notes for usability professionals. More information: http://www.w3.org/WAI/users/involving.html.
Celebrating 5 years of Belgium's signing of the CRPD
On 30 March 2012, Light for the World Belgium organized a special celebration of the 5th anniversary of Belgium's signing of the CRPD through a "2-minute dance for inclusion" flashmob at the main entrance of Brussels' Gare Centrale. Belgium ratified the CRPD and its Optional Protocol on 2 July 2009. More information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTLVP27vvaA.
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