November 10, 2008

International Monitors Elected for CRPD

States that are parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities elected the first twelve members to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; formally setting up a mechanism for countries that have ratified the Convention to report on their implementation efforts.

The Committee, made up of independent experts, was established and its members elected during the first session of the Conference of States Parties, held in New York on 31 October and 3 November 2008.

Starting 1 January 2009, Mr. Ronald McCallum AO (Australia), Mr. Monsur Ahmed Choudhuri (Bangladesh), Ms. María Soledad Cisternas Reyes (Chile), Ms. Jia Yang (China), Mr. Germán Xavier Torres Correa (Ecuador), Mr. György Könczei (Hungary), Mr. Mohammed Al-Tarawneh (Jordan), Ms. Edah Wangechi Maina (Kenya), Ms. Amna Ali Al Suweidi (Qatar), Mr. Cveto Uršič (Slovenia), Ms. Ana Peláez Narváez (Spain), and Mr. Lotfi Ben Lallahom (Tunisia) will serve as members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Committee will review periodic reports from States Parties, raise concerns, if necessary, and make recommendations to the States Parties concerned. The Committee will receive and consider claims of violations of the Convention, from individuals and groups under the jurisdiction of States that have also ratified the Optional Protocol. The Committee can also initiate enquiries when informed of reliable evidence of grave and systematic violations of the Convention.

Members of the newly established Committee on the Rights of Persons with disabilities were elected from a list of experts nominated by 23 of the 41 countries that have ratified the Convention. However, experts do not represent their countries; rather they serve in their personal capacity.

Six of the initial twelve Committee members will serve a full four year term while the other half will serve two years. The latter will be eligible for re-election for a full four year term.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol entered into force on 3 May 2008, marking a new era in efforts to protect the rights of the world’s 650 million persons with disabilities. States that ratified the Convention commit themselves to enact laws, and harmonize legislation, policies and programmes to be in line with the Convention, removing barriers in society that discriminate against persons with disabilities. The Convention does not create new rights; rather, it sets out with much greater clarity the obligations on States to promote, protect and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities. The Convention has been signed by 136 countries and ratified by 41. The Optional Protocol has received 79 signatures and 25 ratifications.

For further information, please visit: www.un.org/disabilities or contact Franck Kuwonu of the UN Department of Public Information, tel. 1 212 963-8264; e-mail: kuwonu@un.org.

Posted by rollingrains at November 10, 2008 02:43 PM