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10th Conference of States Parties held at United Nations New York

June 19, 2017 - - Equality Rights, Global Inclusion

The 10th Conference of States Parties took place June 13-15th at the United Nations in New York City, bringing together more than 90 country delegations and hundreds of civil society organizations to discuss progress on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The Convention of States Parties (COSP) is an annual event where countries come together to discuss best practices, share experiences, and learn from others. Constructive dialogues are held between civil society organizations, state parties (countries that have signed the Convention), and the UN CRPD Committee.

These dialogues ensure that countries are working on concrete directions to implement the CRPD, and suggest directions on areas of implementation that need improvement. Those recommendations are made through Concluding Observations, which are issued to each country after their dialogue.

Held under the theme of 'inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in the implementation of the Convention,' the 10th Conference of the States Parties discussed addressing the impact of multiple discrimination on persons with disabilities and promoting participation for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with CRPD.

CACL's Director of Policy and Program Operations, Tara Levandier, represented CACL and Inclusion International at this year’s COSP. Other Canadian civil society organizations at COSP included the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, Disabled Women’s Network, March of Dimes, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work, and the Canadian Association of the Deaf.

During her time at the United Nations, Tara participated in sessions hosted by the Canadian government delegation and met with Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Carla Qualtrough, Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations Michael Grant, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Director General for the Office for Disability Issues James van Raalte, and Senator Jim Munson.

The Canadian government delegation at the UN highlighted international development initiatives that Canada is supporting in Pakistain and Ukraine (programs on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in democratic processes), and the development of the proposed federal Accessibility Legislation. Canada also endorsed the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action during their time at the UN, and recognized the significant work to be done in Canada with respect to receiving refugees with disabilities, removing Canada's reservation on Article 12 (the right to decide), and data collection regarding persons with disabilities and the progress on the CRPD in Canada.