June 14, 2016 - 9:00am to June 16, 2016 - 12:15am

Yeni Rosa Damayanti addressing opening ceremony in UN General Assembly Hall

IDA and its members were heavily engaged and active throughout the Ninth Conference of States Parties to the CRPD, held At the United Nations in New York, in June 2016.

The Conference opened with an overwhelming number of Member States affirming support, and calling for increased participation, of civil society in the Conference. The President of the General Assembly had spoken at the Civil Society Forum (CSF) preceding the Conference, coordinated by IDA, at the beginning of the week, and cited it as an important dialogue between Member States and civil society. The CSF had given an opportunity to discuss how persons with disabilities and their representative organisations can and should be involved in the implementation of the SDGs, using the CRPD. IDA and the Permanent Mission of Australia also hosted a celebration marking ten years of the CRPD, bringing representatives from governments, civil society and the UN together. Throughout the week, IDA members organised 23 side events, from topics as varied as digital societies, humanitarian response, self advocacy and bridging the CRPD and SDGs through implementation and monitoring.

Leaving no one behind means nothing about us without us
In the months leading up to COSP, IDA facilitated coordination across the disability movement to support the full inclusion and participation of civil society in all aspects of the Conference. These efforts resulted in a number of strong engagements by civil society. Yeni Rosa Damayanti spoke in the Opening Session panel on behalf of Civil Society. New Zealand also recommended that the theme for next COSP incorporate inclusive participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations, reflecting concerns shared by civil society and many Member States that greater and guaranteed space for participation was required. Civil society also co-chaired a roundtable, with the Permanent Mission of Poland, which included strong participation of civil society representatives, who were called upon to contribute at an equal rate to Member States. Despite these positive steps, and the basis for participation as outlined in Article 4.3 of the CRPD, it remains clear that participation of persons with disabilities and wider civil society in COSP cannot be taken for granted. Coordinated efforts across civil society, and determined advocacy with UN bodies and Member States, are still necessary to protect and expand the practice of 'nothing about us, without us.'

Civil Society Forum session

The overarching focus of the Conference was on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for everyone, leaving no one behind. IDA's Members worked to place persons with disabilities at the heart of these discussions: from making assistive technology accessible and tackling poverty and inequality among persons with disabilities to, critically, how to ensure the most marginalized are not left behind.

Side event with WNUSP, OHCHR and others, with sign interpretation

Self representation is key to both the CRPD and SDGs
Two of IDA's members, the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry and Inclusion International, were especially active in this respect. Self advocates and persons with lived experience of pyschosocial disabilities and intellectual disabilities advocated effectively to be able to contribute to both side event discussions and the main sessions of the Conference with Member States, UN Agencies and others from across civil society. These discussions explored and developed the commitments for governments under the CRPD to guarantee legal capacity, supported decision-making, deinstitutionalization, and the right to be included in all stages of discussions and decisions concerning persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, among others.

COSP Roundtable discussion session

In response to concerns about the roundtable discussion and background paper on "Promoting the rights of persons with mental and intellectual disabilities" the disability rights movement advocated for the paper to be amended and the session to be extended into the following day. This led to a revision of the paper, and persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, and others from both civil society and Member States, responded with affirmations of the human rights basis of the CRPD and the right of persons with disabilities to participate meaningfully in these discussions and processes. Organizations and networks of persons with psychosocial disabilities and intellectual disabilities collaboratively released a statement in advance of the roundtable discussion - click here to download. - Additionally, here is a blog piece about WNUSP's experience engaging with this session.

Side events IDA particiapted in throughout the conference:

Tuesday June 14

  • 10:00am - 11:30am: Access to Assistive Technology for Inclusive Development (CR 4)
  • 11:45am - 1:00pm: Fulfilling Sustainable Development Goals through inclusive budgeting (CR 12)
  • 1:15pm - 2:30pm: Intersectionality between the CRPD and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CR 6)
  • 1:15pm - 2:30pm: Situations of Risk and Humanitarian Emergencies: Article 11 in Practice (CR D)
  • 1:15pm - 2:30pm: One decade of the UN CRPD and Women and Girls with Disabilities (CR 12)
  • 3:00pm - 6:00pm: Global Meeting - Implementation of Global Development and Humanitarian Goals – the Leadership Role of Women with Disabilities (CR 6)
  • 4:45pm - 6:00pm: Accessibility: Putting the CRPD Article 9 into practice at the regional and national level (CR 4)

Wednesday June 15

  • 8:00am - 9:30am: How Can Digital Societies Contribute to Achieving the SDGs for Persons with Disabilities
  • 8:00am - 9:30am: How Regional Collaboration Can Lead to More Effective Implementation of Persons with Disabilities in the 2030 Development Agenda of Political Rights (CR 7)
  • 10:00am - 11:30am: Universal Access to Information using ICTs for Persons with Disabilities: Digital Empowerment for Inclusive Development (CR 12)
  • 10:00am - 11:30am: Promoting the rights of persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities (CR D)
  • 11:45am - 1:00pm: My Voice Matters! (CR D)
  • 11:45am - 1:00pm: ICT supporting education for all (CR 12)
  • 1:15pm - 2:30pm:  Developing strong and inclusive institutional frameworks for the CRPD: Operationalizing and implementing Article 33 
  • 1:15pm - 2:30pm:  Reporting obligations under the CRPD: Sharing best practices on follow-up to the recommendations of the CRPD Committee (CR 6) 3:00pm - 4:30pm: Intersectionality between CRPD and CERD - towards the implementation of the SDGs
  • 4:45pm - 6:00pm: Accessibility: Putting the CRPD Article 9 into practie at the national and regional level
  • 6:00pm - 8:00pm: Launch of WE DECIDE!
  • 6:15pm - 8:00pm: Inclusive Rights for Autistic Adults

Thursday 16 June

  • 10:00am - 11:30am: Follow up to the World Humanitarian Summit (CR 12)
  • 1:15pm - 2:30pm: "Unusual" employment of persons with disabilities: from words to work
  • 1:15pm - 2:30pm: Bridging the Gap: 2030 Agenda and the CRPD (CR 12)
  • 6:15pm - 8:00pm: Challenges and Opportunities for Accessible Global Governance: Enhancing Participation for Persons with Disabilities in UN Processes

Address: United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY 10017

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 United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY 10017

  June 13, 2016 - 9:30am

CRD Forum 2016 panel

On Monday 13 June, over 200 activists, advocates and representatives from across civil...