The CRPD Committee opened its 26th session this morning. This is the first full-time session, with members meeting for the first time in Geneva, since August 2019.

Ms Rosemary Kayess

The Chair of the CRPD Committee, Ms Rosemary Kayess addressed the situation on Ukraine by recalling few points of a recent statement by UN experts that the Committee has endorsed (available here).

“We are collectively outraged and distressed by the Russian Federation’s aggression on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” stressed Ms Kayess and concluded by urging “the Russian Federation to observe and respect the principles of international law including the laws and customs of war related to the protection of the civilian populations, to end these hostilities immediately and unconditionally, and to restore the ability of the Ukrainian people to exercise all of their fundamental rights without military or external interference.”

The President of the International Disability Alliance, Mr Yannis Vardakastanis, also referred to the current situation in Ukraine in his speech. He informed Committee members and the public about IDA’s statement in which IDA expresses its “deep concern about persons with disabilities who are facing multiple barriers to access safe evacuation and humanitarian assistance.”

Mr Yannis Vardakastanis

“Military actions must end, all actors involved must respect and comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, in particular Article 11 of the CRPD, to ensure protection and safety for persons with disabilities in Ukraine. This simply cannot wait,” emphasized Mr. Vardakastanis.

The CRPD Committee 26th session will include the State reviews of Hungary, Jamaica, Mexico, Switzerland and Venezuela, and the adoption of the List of Issues Prior to Reporting on the European Union.

All information related to the session, including the Programme of Work and an Informative Note for stakeholders, are available here.

The session will be followed by the 15th Pre-sessional Working Group (28 March 2022 - 1 April 2022), in which the Committee will adopt Lists of Issues on Afghanistan, Belarus, Benin, Ghana, Netherlands and Nicaragua.

All public sessions will be webcasted at Join to see the CRPD Committee in action!

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