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New York: CNDH participates in UN event on disability rights

The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) participated in the 11th Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP11) from 12 to 14 June 2018 at the UN Headquarters, in New York. This year’s overarching theme is “Leaving no one behind through the full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)”.
On 12 June 2018, at the opening session and in the name of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), Mr. Abdelmajid Makni, CNDH representative, highlighted the significant role of NHRIs in monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at national and local levels. This critical role can be fulfilled, inter alia, by investigation, complaint handling, reporting, and offering legislative and policy advice.
GANHRI and the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Committee) have established good working relationships. On 23 February 2018, both parties organized a joint meeting, which concluded with the adoption of a landmark joint Declaration setting up a roadmap to strengthen cooperation between the Committee, NHRIs and GANHRI in monitoring disability rights worldwide.  The outcome of this joint annual meeting was further discussed at the side event to the COSP11 on “Strengthening cooperation and partnerships in monitoring the rights of persons with disabilities: experiences and way forward”. This side event was jointly co-organized, on 14 June 2018 by GANHRI, the Committee, International Disability Alliance (IDA) and UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Political participation of persons with disabilities was at heart of COSP11. The Kingdom of Morocco and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia jointly with the CNDH, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and IDA organized, on 12 June 2018, a side event on the participation of persons with disabilities in political and public life. According to a national survey published in 2014, the prevalence rate of persons with disabilities stands at 6.8%. In its thematic reports on election monitoring, the CNDH had found that the majority of polling stations are located on the first floor. The CNDH had recommended that registration of persons with disabilities be facilitated through effective assistance and adapted communication, including the use of sign language. It also proposed that discrimination on the grounds of disability to be considered an electoral offense.
The session of COSP, this year, was an opportunity to share experiences and updates on the monitoring of the CRPD. NHRIs also proposed to establish a GANHRI Working Group on Disability rights, with a specific mandate, objectives, and priorities.
The sessions of the COSP are engagement to the implementation of Article 40 of the CRPD which provides that “The States Parties shall meet regularly in a Conference of States Parties in order to consider any matter with regard to the implementation of the present Convention.”