Year

2013

Geneva: The 24th regular session of the Human Rights Council will take place from 9 to 27 September 2013. See attached for a disability analysis of the reports being presented to the 24th session. Representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities from Mauritius and Mexico will attend part of the session. The High Commissioner will open the session. Following her update, the Prime Minister of Thailand will address the Council. The foreign ministers of Myanmar and Georgia will also address the Council during the session.

Three panels will be held, on: the rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty; the annual discussion on gender integration; and a half day discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples), focused on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (22-23 September 2014), and on land, education and other issues. The half-day discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples is being made accessible to persons with disabilities. Ms. Olga Montúfar (Mexico) will attend this meeting.

Interactive dialogues will be held with 14 thematic and country special procedures mandate holders, and with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict. Among these is an interactive dialogue with the special rapporteur on water and sanitation (scheduled for 11 September at 15:00 (Geneva time). Meetings will take place concerning the Syrian Arab Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cambodia, and Somalia, and Sudan.

On 18, 19 and 20 September, the Council will adopt the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for fourteen countries: Turkmenistan, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Colombia, Uzbekistan, Tuvalu, Germany, Djibouti, Canada, Bangladesh, Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, Cameroon and Cuba. Of note among these is that Bangladesh accepted a recommendation to improve electoral access for persons with disabilities, and Turkmenistan accepted to continue harmonizing national legislation with the CRPD. Colombia has unfortunately rejected Guatemala’s recommendation to ratify the Optional Protocol to the CRPD. Countries with pending recommendations on the rights of persons with disabilities include Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Canada, Cuba, Germany, Russian Federation, and Uzbekistan.

Among the resolutions that are anticipated to be adopted during the session is one on enhancement of technical cooperation and capacity building, which will determine the focus of the next annual panel on this topic (March 2014). The proposed focus of next year’s panel is “Technical cooperation and capacity building in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities through legal and institutional frameworks, including public-private partnership”. In addition, resolutions are anticipated on:  water and sanitation; political participation; local government and human rights; human rights education and training (HRET) (to determine the focus of the third phase of HRET to begin in 2015, likely to be media professionals and non-discrimination); human rights in the administration of justice, with a focus of the human rights of persons deprived of liberty; arbitrary detention; child mortality; child early and forced marriage; regional agreements for the promotion and protection of human rights; and the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

A photography exhibition of work by Australian photographer, Belinda Mason, is now installed near door 40 of Palais des Nations, E building, and will be displayed during the session: ‘Unfinished Business: A photographic essay about disability in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities’. The photographs (displayed in 3-D) are of indigenous persons with disabilities, including representatives from First Peoples Disability Network, who attended the recent review of Australia in the CRPD Committee 10th session and who also attended exhibition launch on 2 September 2013. In addition, there is a photography exhibition on ‘Thailand and the UN- a growing partnership’.

Austria will host a side event on the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of the upcoming High Level Meeting on Disability and Development (to take place in New York, 23 September 2013). Germany and Spain will co-host a side event on eliminating inequalities and social exclusion through the development agenda post-2015.

The Council session will be webcast live, at: http://webtv.un.org/. The only segment that will be captioned and interpreted with International Sign is the half day discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples (scheduled for 15:00 to 18:00, 17 September).

For more information: See website of Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session24/Pages/24RegularSession.aspx.

Upcoming UPR session:  UPR reports submitted by organizations of persons with disabilities, for the upcoming UPR 17th session (21 October to 1 November), can be found on IDA’s website, at http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/en/universal-periodic-review

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