11 September, pre-Conference and Civil Society Forum

From UN Enable:


TODAY’S SUMMARY: Tuesday, 11 September

Today at United Nations Headquarters, CSOs (civil society organizations) including DPOs (organizations of persons with disabilities) met in a Forum along with other stakeholders to discuss issues on the agenda of the fifth session of the Conference of States Parties, as well as next year’s High-level meeting on Disability (23 September 2013).


The Opening session was chaired by Colin Allen, President of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD). Speakers included H.E. Marten Grunditz, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the UN; Akiko Ito, Chief, Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (DSPD/DESA); Craig Mokhiber, Chief, Development and Economic and Social Issues Branch, OHCHR; IDA Chair Yannis Vardakastanis.


The First session discussed CRPD related advocacy work at national level leading to change in legislation and policies and how the CRPD is starting to produce change in the lives of persons with disabilities. The session was co-chaired by Regina Atalla, President of RIADIS and Patrick Clarke, Chair of Down Syndrome International (DSI). Speakers included: Silje Vold, Child Rights Advisor of Plan Norway; Sharon Primor, Legal Counsel, Bizchut - The Israel Human Rights Center for People with Disabilities; Nagase Osamu, Executive director of the Institute on Disability & Communication; Joseph Murray, Board Member of the World Federation of the Deaf; Mosharraf Hossain, Country Director of ADD International, Bangladesh; Richard Rieser, UKDPC/World of Inclusion; Eric Mathews, Advocacy Associate, Disability Rights International.


The Second session reviewed examples of work with other stakeholders to promote the implementation of the CRPD and was co-chaired by Geir Jensen, Secretary General of the World Federation of the DeafBlind (WFDB) and Nawaf Kabbara, President of Arab Organisation of Persons with Disabilities (AOPD). Speakers included: Robinah Alambuya, Chairwoman PANUSP; Javed Abidi, Chair of DPI and Alex Leblois, Executive Director of G3ict; Joshua Goldstein, Center for Financial Inclusion at ACCION; Martin Mwesigwa Babu, Programme Manager, HIV&AIDS Department, National Union of Disabled Persons in Uganda (NUDIPU); Medi Ssengooba, Human Rights Watch.


During the Third session, speakers highlighted the importance of increasing funding for the implementation of the CRPD and discussed good examples of international co-operation, disability rights budgeting and getting disability into the post-2015 agenda. The session was Co-chaired by Latoa Halatou, Co-Chair of Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) and Klaus Lachwitz, Chair of Inclusion International. Speakers included: Liza Martinez, CSO Forum Philippines; Marion Steff, Policy Adviser of Sightsavers; Tim Wainwright, Executive Director of ADD International; Mohammed Ali Loutfy, Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union (LPHU) and BIC; Diane Mulligan, Coordinator for International Advocacy and Alliances, CBM.


The Fourth session reviewed examples of co-operation between UN agencies and DPOs/NGOs at national or global level to promote the implementation of the CRPD.

The session was co-chaired by Pekka Tuominen, Treasurer of the European Disability Forum (EDF) and Moosa Salie, Chair of World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP). Speakers included: Dr. Paula Frederica Hunt, Inclusive Education Consultant, UNICEF Regional Office for CEE/CIS; Lord Colin Low, ICEVI President; Elinor Milne, Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children; Emma Pearce, Disability Program Officer, Women’s Refugee Commission; Myra Kovary, World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP).


The Closing session was chaired by Maryanne Diamond, President of the World Blind Union and member of the IDA Governing Body.  The closing session strongly emphasized the importance of civil society in promoting disability rights. Chairperson Maryanne Diamond highlighted that the Civil Society Forum has become a tradition in its own right as a time to exchange views and share best practices. Javed Abidi, IDA Vice-Chair and Chair of Disabled People’s International, presented a summary of the day's events and stated "The active and effective involvement of persons with disabilities through their representative organizations, in the preparation process and in the actual High-level Meeting is a key issue for us. We set a high standard of DPO participation in the negotiation process of the CRPD and this needs to be upheld". The UN Special Rapporteur on disability agreed, saying "civil society participation is not debated anymore", and the UN must continue to lead, encourage and promote the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development. Similarly, the Permanent Representatives of Spain and the Philippines, co-facilitators of next year's High-level Meeting on Disability and Development, reiterated the slogan "Nothing about us, without us" to encourage the active participation of persons with disabilities in discussions about the post-2015 development agenda.


The complete Programme and Background are available on the Enable website. Tomorrow, the unedited (CART) transcript of the Forum will also be posted.

TOMORROW’S SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 12 September


Opening Session: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

-        Chair: Bureau (Sweden)

-        Opening remarks and adoption of the agenda

-        Election of the Member of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

-        Matters related to the implementation of the Convention: General Debate


Round Table 1: Accessibility and Technology: 3 to 6 p.m.

Chair: Bureau (Thailand)


-        Ms. Inmaculada Placencia-Porrero, European Commission

-        Mr. Hiroshi Kawamura, DAISY International

-        Ms. Frances West, IBM

-        Mr. Sean Cruse, United Nations Global Compact


Side-events: Eight side-events will also be held tomorrow,: Violence Against Children with Disabilities; Ensuring the CRPD is working for refugee women and children; Sustainable development: inclusive and accessible; Including Women and Children with Disabilities in Programming; Working Together to Implement Inclusive Education (Article 24); Good practice in inclusive education: Voices from the Commonwealth; The right to express oneself for children with disabilities; Microfinance and financial inclusion of persons with disabilities.






Live webcast: http://webtv.un.org/

Live CART feed: http://www.streamtext.net/player?event=COSP




Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD), Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), 2 UN Plaza, DC2-1306, New York, NY 10017, USA.

Website: http://www.un.org/disabilities; Email:enable@un.org; Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/United-Nations-Enable/196545623691523; Twitter:http://twitter.com/UN_Enable.  

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