UN Press Release

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to be Highlighted during United Nations Treaty Event

United Nations, 18 September – The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol will be highlighted at the annualUnited Nations treaty event, organized to encourage United Nations Member States to participate in international treaties. Every year since 2000, the United Nations has been holding a treaty event coinciding with the General Debate in the General Assembly, to provide Member States with an opportunity to sign, ratify or accede to treaties deposited with the United Nations Secretary-General. This year’s treaty event will be held on 25 to 27 September and 1 to 2 October.  In May, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote to all Member States inviting them “to make use of this occasion by signing and ratifying or acceding to those treaties deposited with me to which your country is not party already”.

“This year’s theme,” he said, “will assist in focusing attention on the important goal of moving towards universal participation and implementation and will target those areas directly affecting human beings, their security, environment, development and human dignity”.  Mr. Ban also called on governments “to take adequate measures to implement the relevant treaty obligations within their domestic jurisdictions.”  In response, dozens of countries have already indicated their intention to sign, ratify or accede to treaties during the treaty event, which will take place in a special area in the United Nations building.  The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, its Optional Protocol, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, all of which were adopted in 2006, have thus far attracted the most interest.   As of 18 September, five countries – Jamaica, Hungary, Panama, Croatia and Cuba – had ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and 102 had signed it. The Convention needs 20 ratifications or accessions to come into force.

As of 18 September, Hungary, Panama and Croatia had ratified the Optional Protocol and 59 countries had signed it. The Optional Protocol will allow individuals to petition the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on alleged violations of the Convention once all domestic forms of recourse have been exhausted. Subject to the entry into force of the Convention, the Optional Protocol requires 10 ratifications or accessions.  For information, please visit http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable or contact at the UN Department of Public Information Edoardo Bellando, Tel: +1 212 963-8275, e-mail bellando@un.org, or Dan Shepard, Tel: +1 212 963 9495, e-mail shepard@un.org.
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