- January 31, 2018

The European Union, the People's Republic of China and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs co-hosted the side-event on persons with disabilities “Realising equal rights and inclusive development” at the UN Headquarters in New York. The event was attended by high level speakers and gathered representatives from States’ missions to the UN, UN agencies and civil society representatives, and sought to explore the progress made in realising equal rights and inclusive development of persons with disabilities and the challenges laying ahead for SDGs-CRPD implementation.

Ambassador Joanne Adamson, European Union Delegation to the UN, Ambassador of the Permanent Representation of China to the UN and Ambassador Georgi Panayotov, Permanent Representative of the Mission of the Republic of Bulgaria to the UN, initiated the event providing insightful opening remarks, including references to their commitments and achievements so far. These interventions were followed by two key notes speakers: Ms. Zhang Haidi, Chairwoman of China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF), President of Rehabilitation International, and Mr. Michel Servoz, Director General, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission.

IDA participated at the panel discussion that followed, and which included among others Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Special Rapporteur on Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and Ms. Inmaculada Placencia Porrero, Senior Expert, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission. Silvia Quan, representing IDA, focused her remarks regarding States’ obligations in relation to the participation of civil society. IDA stressed on Article 4.3 of the CRPD that requires States to closely consult and actively involve persons with disabilities, through their representatives organisations, elaborating on key related elements such as timely and accessible information and funding to ensure organisations can participate effectively.