10th COSP in review

The 10th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD (COSP) is officially over! This year was an important year as it was the 10th session of COSP and there was more activity than ever before with over 80 side events, numerous parallel events and receptions, as well as the civil society CRPD forum on Monday, 12 June. Moreover, for the first time, civil society and Member States were able to have exhibitions in the UN to raise awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities during the conference.

This year, there was a record number of presenters – approximately 130 –  during the General Debate, and in the Ministerial Segment, there were more than 20 high-level speakers, including the First Lady of Ecuador who opened the General Debate. Additionally, the round table discussions centered on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, commitments in the humanitarian area, and the New Urban Agenda

As CBM we were incredibly active with representatives from three Member Associations, International Advocacy and Alliances (IAA), and DPO partners. CBM colleagues included Jane Edge, CEO of CBM Australia; Sarah Meschenmoser, CBM Germany; Mirjam Gasser, CBM Switzerland; Diane Kingston, IAA; and me. In addition, IAA in New York supported Risna Utami from OHANA in Indonesia to attend COSP.

Alt="Mirjam Gasser presenting the official CBM statement"

Mirjam Gasser presenting the official CBM statement

Mirjam presented the official statement on behalf of CBM on 15 June highlighting our programmatic work, women with disabilities, and our engagement in the New Urban Agenda. She also moderated an event on political participation of persons with disabilities. Diane moderated and presented in numerous events and was part of an official COSP panel. I presented on the accessibility campaign I have led at the UN to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities at the HLPF. Additionally, we co-sponsored two events and held an exhibition table for three days in which we shared publications on our programs and had engaging conversations.

Quite a few of CBM’s partners attended COSP and the following are the views they shared on the value of attending global UN events for national programs and work.

 

We have been supporting our partner, Risna Utami from OHANA in Indonesia, to attend COSP since 2014. Risna says that from this global advocacy at the UN level, she now has a strong influence in her government and that the top level – the Presidential Office –  now trusts her and consequently wants to make Indonesia more inclusive of persons with disabilities.

Alt="Risna and me at COSP"

Risna and me at COSP

Risna is actively involved with the CBM Indonesia office, as well as CBM Australia in which she carried out a DID training to Australian Embassy and DFAT staff in Jakarta.

Our partner Victor Baute from RIADIS and Venezuela also attended COSP this year. RIADIS and CBM-LARO have an MoU and plan to strengthen CBM’s linkages at the national level in the region. Similar to Risna, Victor has participated in BRIDGE trainings and subsequently has provided local workshops on the CRPD and the SDGs to Latin American DPOs and partners. Victor views COSP as a platform to learn about good practices and examples to replicate and improve on CRPD and SDG implementation, human rights mechanisms, and build upon international exchange and partnerships (SDG 17).

Alt="Our partner Rama Dhakal and Jane Edge CEO of CBM Australia at COSP"

Our partner Rama Dhakal and Jane Edge CEO of CBM Australia at COSP

Our partner Rama Dhakal from the National Association of the Physical Disabled – Nepal also attended the COSP. She is the immediate past president of Nepal disabled women’s association and has been a partner with CBM since 2010 when she worked with CBM on education for children with disabilities and livelihood for women with disabilities. CBM supported Rama to attend AWID and also recently attended the DID meeting in the Philippines. Rama views COSP as an effective platform to learn about the challenges of the CRPD for the national government and then bring those back to the country level and address them. Additionally, the HLPF provides an opportunity to better understand the national implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a space in which persons with disabilities can engage and intervene, which is not always possible at the national level.

Sebastian Toledo, Director of CONADI Guatemala attended COSP and is our partner in Guatemala. Specifically, CONADI presented the national Guatemalan disability survey – ENDIS 2016 – at the Guatemalan Mission to the UN to DPO representatives, Missions, and others from Latin America. CBM was involved in this survey with technical leadership and financial contribution. COSP provided a platform and space to share the findings and to discuss ways to build upon this work nationally, regionally, and globally.

Global platforms, such as COSP, are instrumental for our work as they provide a space to learn, discuss, and strengthen the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which in turn is further strengthened by the ambitious and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which for the first time recognizes persons with disabilities as agents of change for sustainable development. The 11th session of COSP will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 12 to 14 June 2018. Get ready and see you there next year!

Alt="All of the CBM representatives at COSP10"

All of the CBM representatives together at COSP10: Jane Edge, Diane Kingston, Elizabeth Lockwood, Mirjam Gasser, and Sarah Meschenmoser

Alt="Mirjam Gasser, Sarah Meschenmoser, and me in front of the CBM exhibition"

Mirjam Gasser, Sarah Meschenmoser, and me in front of the CBM exhibition

One more step in the global indicator framework

On 7 June, the UN Economic and Social Council formally adopted the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator framework at their Coordination and Management Meeting. The next step is that the global framework will be presented at the UN General Assembly for adoption in September, which is needed for full adoption of the framework.

The global indicator framework is important for persons with disabilities, as data collection can provide the number of persons with disabilities living in a location, the barriers they encounter, and what policies and programs are needed to eradicate those barriers. Disaggregation of data by disability is a key step in including persons with disabilities who encounter higher rates of poverty and exclusion from society. The global indicator framework is important at the local and national levels where SDG implementation takes place, and is linked to our CBM programs in the areas of inclusive education, ensuring healthy lives, water and sanitation for all, gender equality, climate change, inclusive cities among other areas.

Furthermore, the framework can be used as a guide for monitoring the SDGs and can be a tool for disability-inclusive development since 11 indicators have references to persons with disabilities. These indicators are in the areas of poverty eradication, education (2 references), employment (2 references), reducing inequalities, sustainable and inclusive cities (3 references), and peaceful and inclusive societies (2 references). In addition, the paragraph on disaggregation includes disaggregation of data by disability.

Each indicator is ranked in a tier system with three tiers:

  • Tier 1: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.
  • Tier 2: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.
  • Tier 3: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.

The disability-inclusive indicators are mostly found in Tier III (5) and Tier II (4), with only one in Tier I. There is one indicator that could be in any three of the Tiers depending on the indices.

Stay tuned for updates on the global indicator framework, and know that this is one step closer to ensuring that no one is left behind and building a more inclusive society.

Additional Information

Disability Statistics: Our Place in the Sun

The 10th Conference of the States Parties to the CRPD

Next week the 10th Conference of States Parties to the CRPD will take place at the UN in New York from 13-15 June. In conjunction, the CRPD Civil Society Forum will take place one day prior on 12 June and the DESA Forum on the day afterward on 16 June. The theme of this year’s COSP is “The Second Decade of the CRPD: Inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in the implementation of the Convention.”

Sub-themes include:

  • Addressing the impact of multiple discrimination on persons with disabilities and promoting their participation and multi-stakeholder partnerships for achieving the SDGs in line with the CRPD;
  • Inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action; and
  • Promoting inclusive urban development and implementation of the New Urban Agenda –  Habitat III

The COSP Bureau includes: President: Bulgaria (Eastern European Group) and Vice-Presidents: Tunisia (African Group), Sri Lanka (Asia-Pacific Group), Ecuador (Latin American and Caribbean Group) and Germany (Western European and Others Group)

CBM will have a strong presence this year with participation from Jane Edge, CEO CBM Australia; Sarah Meschenmoser, CBM Germany; Mirjam Gasser, CBM Switzerland; Diane Kingston, CBM International, IAA; Risna Utami, our partner from Indonesia; and me, CBM International, IAA.

Additionally, we will have an exhibition space inside the UN entitled “Leave no one behind: Disability-Inclusive Development through the CRPD and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” with CBM publications, brochures and postcards demonstrating how CBM engages in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities in international cooperation through the CRPD and the 2030 Agenda. Moreover, our table will be situated alongside the exhibition of the CBM International, Handicap International and the International Disability Alliance project that is promoting inclusive humanitarian action for persons with disabilities. If you’re around, please stop by and say hi!

In addition, we are co-hosting and co-organizing two events:

  • 1:15-2:30 Tuesday 13 June – Persons with disabilities on the move: The rights of refugees and migrants with disabilities Conference Room 4 (Inclusion International, CBM, and Handicap International co-sponsoring with International Disability Alliance, OHCHR, UNHCR, UNICEF, European Disability Forum, EESC, Human Rights Watch) (CBM is co-sponsoring)
  • 11:45-1:00 Wednesday 14 June – Nothing about us without us: Enhancing participation of persons with disabilities in political and public life in Asia & Europe, Conference Room 11 (CBM, International Disability Alliance and Asia-Europe Foundation) (CBM is co-organizing and co-sponsoring)

Furthermore, Diane and I will participate in the following events:

Diane:

  • 13 June at 1:15 on people with disabilities on the move – moderating
  • 13 June at 3:00 on mental health and human rights – moderating
  • 14 June at 11:45 on political participation – moderating
  • 14 June at 6:15 on women and election to CRPD committee (Women Enabled) speaker

Elizabeth:

  • 14 June at 4:45 on Accessibility Issues for Hard of Hearing Persons [International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA)]

Stay tuned for more news and information throughout the week and follow us on Twitter for real-time updates: @LockwoodEM, @Diane_CBM, @JaneDEdge, @risnawati_utami

Global Strategy to End Clubfoot Disability

CBM has been a founding and governing member of the Global Clubfoot Initiative (GCI), an umbrella organisation of non-governmental organisations involved in clubfoot treatment worldwide. Via GCI, CBM has helped develop a standardised training package for clinicians treating children with clubfoot and a global database of cases treated.

Up to 85% of children born with the condition worldwide are unable to access treatment. CBM has thus collaborated with GCI on the drafting of a Global Strategy to End Clubfoot Disability, which is published today, 3 June 2017,on World Clubfoot Day and the birthday of the late Professor Ignacio Ponseti who pioneered the successful treatment technique. This strategy has prioritised countries in which programmes need to be established and developed, as well as estimating the costs involved in doing so. Under this strategy we hope that, by 2030, 70% of children born with clubfeet in low and middle income countries will have access to the treatment they need in order to walk and run free for the rest of their lives. CBM, via our partners worldwide are already a major provider of clubfoot treatment internationally and intend to take a leading role in the implementation of the global clubfoot strategy published today.

What is clubfoot?

Congenital talipes equino-varus, or clubfoot, is the most common significant musculoskeletal congenital abnormality, affecting between 1 and 2 babies in every thousand live births. The deformity presents as a “twisted” foot, with the sole of the foot turned upwards and the ankle twisted inwards. The condition is twice as common in boys as in girls and in two thirds of cases both feet are affected.

Without treatment, the child will begin to try to walk on the deformed foot, which with time will become stiff and painful. Also the bones of the foot will secondarily deform making correction more difficult and often only possible by means of extensive and costly surgical procedures. Without correction mobility is impaired, leading to children having difficulty attending school and being unable to participate in the normal activities of childhood.  Normal shoes cannot be worn and as adults employment opportunities are limited.

Clubfoot deformity is entirely correctable by a very inexpensive and simple technique known as the Ponseti method. This involves a weekly manipulation and plaster casting of the foot, which typically corrects over a period of 5-6 weeks. The majority of cases need a minor surgical procedure.

Globally, nearly 200,000 children are born with clubfoot deformity each year and the majority of these are in low and middle income countries where it is difficult for them to access treatment; of those born today only 15% are likely to be corrected, condemning the remainder to lifelong pain and disability. CBM has been in the vanguard of the drive to establish Ponseti based clubfoot treatment programmes across the less developed world.

Via our partners CBM has gone on to set up Ponseti based clubfoot treatment programmes in many of the less developed countries in which we work and as a result we have transformed the lives of children born with this condition. CBM has also been at the forefront of teaching and training local doctors in the specialized surgical techniques necessary to treat older children and adults who present with “neglected” clubfoot.