The Opening of the 7th Conference of States Parties took place on 10 June in which all governments that have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities met to discuss implementation. The first day also oversaw the election of Expert members to the CRPD committee (Diane Mulligan has been elected until 2016).
CBM’s partner, Risnawati Utami, Founder/Director Ohana and Chair of Indonesian National Consortium for Disability Rights (Konas Difabel) represented civil society in the opening of the Conference of States Parties, Chaired by Kenya, the President of the Conference. Risna began her eloquent and powerful presentation with a personal introduction as a woman with a disability from the Global South.
She continued by discussing the barriers faced by persons with disabilities worldwide and emphasized that empowerment is the key to achieve equality and therefore must remain firmly committed to combat inequalities. She concluded that to ensure that persons with disabilities are not once again left behind, the post-2015 development framework must adopt goals and targets that promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities, otherwise sustainable development will not be achieved.
We were busy with a number of IDDC-IDA joint meetings with Member States in the UN, including Norway, Panama, Sweden, Lichtenstein, Finland, Colombia and Turkey. I attended the meeting with Panama that would like to collaborate more with CBM’s Latin America Regional Office.
In the afternoon, Ambrose Murangira (Atlas Alliance partner and Chair, Uganda Association of the Deaf), Orsolya Bartha (International Disability Alliance) and I carried out a training over the post-2015 agenda to 25 youth with disabilities at UNICEF. The training session was interactive, engaging and inspirational. I learned a lot from these young global people with disabilities or as Ambrose called them “the leaders of yesterday (and today and the future).”