82 Countries Sign UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities
A Record Number Countries Ever to Sign During Opening Ceremony
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities opened for signature and ratification today at United Nations Headquarters, in New York. This human rights treaty, the first in the 21st century and the fastest negotiated in history, will protect and promote the rights of 650 million persons with disabilities, 10% of the world's population.
An unprecedented 82 countries signed the Convention and 44 signed the Convention's Optional Protocol, a monitoring mechanism that addresses individual violations. During this opening ceremony Jamaica both signed and ratified the Convention.
Among countries that signed today were those in which Landmine Survivors Network (LSN) has a significant presence, including Colombia, El Salvador, and Jordan. Adnan Al Aboudy, LSN-Jordan director, served as a member of the Jordanian delegation that signed the Convention.
During discussions following the signing ceremony, the Australian delegations highlighted the link between the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In response, Ambassador Don MacKay, permanent representative of New Zealand and chair of the UN Ad Hoc Committee, noted the significant contribution of Landmine Survivors Network to both treaties.
The disability community has waited for this Convention for decades. "This Convention indicates disability rights are no longer a 'little special rights' or charity," said Jerry White, LSN co-founder and executive director. "The Convention is comprehensive in the provisions it sets for the rights of persons with disabilities," continued White. At its core, the Convention sets provisions to ensure that persons with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else, and are able to lead their lives as full-fledged individuals who can make valuable contributions to society.
Procedurally, once a country signs the Convention, the national representative will then take the treaty to his/her country for ratification. Once ratified by 20 countries the Convention will enter into force for those countries. White says, "LSN will continue its work on the Convention by committing to a global push to secure country ratifications to ensure that the treaty becomes international law by 2008." LSN has prepared tools to help advocate for ratification. Find them at www.landminesurvivors.org.
About Landmine Survivors Network
Landmine Survivors Network is the only international organization of survivors dedicated to helping mine victims recover from trauma, reintegrate into their communities, and advocate for their human rights.
Web site: www.landminesurvivors.org
Von: 30.03.2007 www.prnewswire.co.uk