- October 26, 2012

The International Disability Alliance (IDA) is deeply concerned that the United Nations General Assembly’s Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) might adopt a resolution which endorses the outdated 1982 World Program of Action for Disabled Persons.

The resolution entitled ‘Realizing the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities towards 2015 and beyond’ was introduced by the Philippines and supported by UN DESA. The draft resolution not only recalls the World Programme of Action, but also requests Member States to continue submitting reports on the implementation of the WPA.

The World Programme of Action (WPA) was adopted in 1982. While 30 years ago it was a step forward, much of its content is in clear contradiction with the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Not only is the WPA strongly based on the prevention of disability, but it also includes provisions in the area of education, legal capacity and political participation which are in clear contradiction with the advanced standards set by the CRPD, therefore seriously undermining the current challenges already faced in promoting the full implementation of the Convention.

“Instead of promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the MDGs and in the upcoming post-MDG framework, the resolution continues to ask States to report on the implementation of this old fashioned instrument. This is not only a waste of resources, but also afundamental strategic mistake and an insult to persons with disabilities.” states IDA Chair Yannis Vardakastanis.

IDA wants to clarify that it is not opposed to combatting the different causes that lead to the appearance of disability, but insists that these policies should be part of public health and other policies which apply to the general population. It is extremely negative to combine the prevention of disability with policies to promote the rights of persons with disabilities. This is the reason that CRPD does not deal with the issue of primary prevention of disability.

Moreover, IDA wants to highlight that it is wrong to say that the WPA is relevant for people with disabilities in developing countries. This is a false argument and IDA would like to remind that the CRPD is the first human rights treaty that has a stand-alone article on international co-operation, which now needs to be used by all stakeholders to ensure that the post-MDG framework includes persons with disabilities.

IDA, the representative umbrella alliance of persons with disabilities, is therefore asking UN Member States to delete the reference to the WPA in this resolution. If this is not accepted, IDA asks States not to adopt this resolution as it would be opposed by the group of persons whose rights this resolution is supposed to promote.

“Nothing about persons with disabilities without persons with disabilities.”

Contact: Vladimir Cuk at vcuk [at]
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IDA Twitter:!/IDA_CRPD_Forum


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