UN Secretary General Acknowledges Disability Rights Treaty, Disability Day

Posted on 30 November 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

SECRETARY-GENERAL, IN MESSAGE FOR INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, SAYS MUCH TO CELEBRATE WITH ENTRY INTO FORCE OF RIGHTS CONVENTION

Following is United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, observed 3 December:

This year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities falls just a week before the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations is commemorating both under the theme, “Dignity and justice for all of us”.

We have much to celebrate this year. The entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in May was a turning point. When the first Conference of the Parties convened in October, participants immediately began considering how the Convention can serve as a tool to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. This progress has been made possible thanks to the active participation and leadership of persons with disabilities, by ensuring that they have access to — and are included in — all aspects of our work.

The United Nations remains committed to this approach. The renovation of our Headquarters complex through the Capital Master Plan will bring our facilities up to the latest standards of accessibility. These advances are long overdue.

The General Assembly has stressed that, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we must include persons with disabilities in all processes. With 80 per cent of persons with disabilities — more than 400 million people — living in poor countries, we need to do much more to break the cycle of poverty and disability.

The slogan of the International Disability Alliance is: “Nothing about us without us.” A disabled person from Swaziland, who has been fighting for the implementation of a disability policy there, has said: “We need total integration to do away with the evil of stigmatization.”

In that same spirit, I urge Governments and all stakeholders to ensure that persons with disabilities and their organizations are an integral part of all development processes. In this way, we can promote integration and pave the way for a better future for all people in society.



The above comments from the UN Secretary General were recently circulated on several different international disability-oriented email discussion lists, including the one for RatifyNow. RatifyNow is an organization devoted to promoting the ratification and implementation of the CRPD.

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IDA CRPD Forum Recruits Organizations as Participants

Posted on 27 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

IDA CRPD Forum Recruits Organizations as Participants

The Interational Disability Alliance (IDA) is an international network of disability organizations. According to their web site, “The IDA CRPD Forum upholds the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as the universal standard for the human rights of all persons with disabilities that takes precedence over previous instruments.”

Dear All,

The steering committee of the IDA CRPD Forum decided at its meetings held on October 30th and November 4th 2008 on the process to be followed for organizations wishing to join the IDA CRPD Forum as participants.

We therefore invite any organization desiring to participate in the IDA CRPD Forum to send by email a letter of interest to the IDA (and its CRPD Forum) Secretariat at idacrpdforum@yahoo.com. The letter should include the following information and the attached declaration signed by the main representative of the organization:

– Name of Organization
– Address and Contact Information
– Name of Official Representative
– Website (if available)
– Geographic Coverage
– Main area(s) of work and constituency (if relevant)
– Composition of:
o Membership
o Governing Body
– Indication whether the organization considers itself to be a DPO or not, understanding that a DPO is an organization which is managed and controlled mainly by persons with disabilities as well as accountable to persons with disabilities.

Upon receipt and review of the documentation by the Secretariat, the IDA CRPD Steering Committee will be informed. If no objection is raised within two weeks, the organization will be added to the IDA CRPD Forum participant list and to the IDA CRPD Forum list serve. Participation in the IDA CRPD Forum will ensure access to information on all IDA CRPD Forum activities and will allow participation in any consultation process to be launched by the IDA CRPD Forum, as well as the possibility of participation in the different electronic working groups.

The IDA CRPD Forum looks forward to the valuable contributions of new perspective and expertise your participation will offer as we work together to further our efforts for the rights of persons with disabilities.

Sincerely Yours,
The IDA (and its CRPD Forum) Secretariat

Declaration
By signing below, I agree on behalf of the organization I represent, to accept the DPO leadership in the management of the IDA CRPD Forum as well as the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

I accept that the organization on behalf of which I sign this declaration shall not be allowed to speak on behalf of the IDA CRPD Forum and shall not refer to their participation as membership in the IDA CRPD Forum in its external communication. I hereby accept that non-compliance with these provisions might result in revocation of the right to participate in or exclusion from the IDA CRPD Forum.

Signature: ___________________________ Date: _______________________

Name of person signing: __________________________________________________

Title: __________________________________________________________________

Organization: ___________________________________________________________



The above announcement was circulated on the IDA CRPD Forum listserver. I gathered the background information provided in the first paragraph from the IDA CRPD Forum web page and the IDA web page. Organizations may wish to follow these links to learn more about IDA and the IDA CRPD Forum. All inquiries and applications to join should please be directed to idacrpdforum@yahoo.com, NOT We Can Do.

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New Global Email Network of Women with Disabilities Launches

Posted on 30 October 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Networking Opportunities, Opportunities, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Dear friends,

As you may know, a group of over 50 participants from 20 countries and various sectors (civil society, governments, academia, international organizations and private sector) met in Quebec, Canada on August 26-27 for a Global Summit on the Rights of Women with Disabilities. All Interational Disability Alliance organizations were invited to send a representative, and were actively engaged in the discussions.

The Summit was a great opportunity to talk about the key challenges facing women with disabilities worldwide, network, exchange ideas and take actions for us to “claim our rights”. Together, the Summit participants decided to form a new global network of women with disabilities and allies, charged with raising awareness and carrying out advocacy.. Attached and below is the Call for Action presented at the close of the Summit.
As the Call to Action say, this network aims to be inclusive of women of all ages from all parts of the world with ALL types of disabilities.

In order to move forward, an email list for the “International Network of Women With Disabilities” (INWWD) has been set up, and interested individuals are invited to join the email list by sending a message to: inwwd-subscribe@yahoogroups.com In this email, please include your name, affiliation and whether you agree to following principles:

Provisional guidelines for membership in the INWWD email list:
– Members accept the principle that this is a network OF women with all types of disabilities from all over the world, led by women with disabilities.
– Members of this email list are committed to the philosophy of women with disabilities advocating for themselves and identifying the issues of women with disabilities.
– Members support the principles in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
– Members of this email list support the goals of this network, which include sharing our knowledge and experiences, speaking up for our rights, bringing about change and inclusion in our communities, and empowering women with disabilities to be leaders of today and tomorrow.
– Members agree that the work of the network should be equally relevant to all women with disabilities irrespective of the type of disability or geographical location.
– Members agree to be respectful and constructive.

If you’d like to join an allied group of men with disabilities, please email mszporluk@disabilityrightsfund.org

The Summit participants also created a Working Group to develop the terms of reference for our network – to be finalized by the network over email by the end of the year. We are now reaching out to other networks, interested women and allies, and look forward to this partnership to promote the rights of women with disabilities around the world!

Best,
Shantha (a member of the INWWD)

GLOBAL SUMMIT on the Rights of Women with Disabilities
A Call for Action: Claiming Our Rights

Women with disabilities have been the world’s forgotten sisters. There are over 300 million women with disabilities around the world, representing a huge and important part of society. We face multiple forms of discrimination.

We, the participants in a global Summit on the Rights of Women with Disabilities, held in Quebec, Canada, in August 2008, have come together to claim our rights, through the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the human rights framework. Today, we take the first, historic step by creating a global network of women with disabilities, which must include women with ALL types of disabilities from ALL over the world.

We will use this network to share our knowledge and experiences, speak up for our rights, bring about change and inclusion in our communities, and empower women with disabilities to be leaders of today and tomorrow. We invite ALL women with disabilities to join us and we will achieve these goals TOGETHER.

Adopted on August 27, 2008, Quebec, Canada



This announcement was circulated by Shanta Rau of Rehabilitation International via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) email list. Queries about the new email network of women with disabilities, and allied men, should please be directed to inwwd-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or to mszporluk@disabilityrightsfund.org, NOT to We Can Do.

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FORUM: Civil Society Organizations at World Bank, International Monetary Fund

Posted on 23 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Events and Conferences, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including those involved with disability issues, have an opportunity to meet with staff members at the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC, USA, April 10-13, 2008. Organizations interested in sending a representative must apply for accreditation by March 23, 2008.

Each year, the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund hold two major joint meetings. The larger of these, called the “Annual Meetings,” is held in the fall. A similar but smaller set of meetings, called the “Spring Meetings,” is held in the spring. The 2008 Spring Meetings is held over the weekend of April 12-13, 2008.

Also each year, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may participate in a Program of Policy Dialogues for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). The World Bank and International Monetary Fund civil society teams will also be offering an Orientation Session on the World Bank and IMF for interested CSO representatives attending the 2008 Spring Meetings.

The World Bank Group makes loans to the governments of developing countries to support projects to reduce poverty; improve infrastructure; and bring education, clean water, health services, and electricity to more poor people. The International Monetary Fund, among other things, advises country governments on their economic policies and lends money to governments to help them correct balance of payments problems. Thus, the World Bank is focused on fighting poverty, while the IMF is focused more on broader macroeconomic issues.

For more information about the participation of Civil Society Organizations, go to the page on the 2008 Spring Meeting targeted at representatives of Civil Society Organizations

http://go.worldbank.org/PY6ZNKWGH0

Be sure to read all the information at the above link carefully before you decide whether it would be suitable to your interests to attend. For example, this is NOT the forum to attend if you are looking for concrete guidance on how to start a new project for disabled people in your country. This will NOT be an opportunity to ask for funding for your organization. You will NOT receive advice on improving or strengthening your organization.

However, if you represent a larger, more stable organization that is able to take a very long view on your future activities, then this forum might be suitable for you. It may help you learn more about the World Bank and the IMF. (If this interests you, then you will be particularly interested in the April 9 Orientation Session. Please note that regisration for the orientation session is handled separately from registration for the Policy Dialogues for Civil Society Organizations in general.)

Attending this event can also give you the chance to participate in many policy dialogue sessions. These sessions will bring together staff from the Bank and Fund; CSO representatives; government officials; and other individuals. People will use these sessions to discuss important issues that will be addressed during the 2008 Spring Meetings. This could be an opportunity to share your thoughts and learn from the perspectives of other participants.

Also, the IMF/WB Civil Society Team staff can help facilitate contacts between your civil society organization and journalists during the forum. You can also leave print materials about your organization at a table in the Press Room for journalists to pick up.

If you are reading this before March 15, 2008 then you may wish to consider submitting a proposal to host your own, two-hour session as part of the Civil Society Policy Forum. (Perhaps a session on disability inclusion in development?) Proposals should be short and should include the title, topic, and expected outcome of the panel. Also indicate who (if anyone) from the World Bank or the IMF you would like to be a part of the session. Send proposals by 5 p.m. EST, March 15, 2008, via email to civilsociety@worldbank.org.



We Can Do learned about this opportunity for Civil Society Organizations at the World Bank’s CommNet blog at http://commnet.worldbank.org/node/3220.

Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).



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This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com). Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts: BlogAfrica.com and www.RatifyNow.org. If you are reading this anywhere else, then you are most likely reading a web site that regularly plagiarizes the work of other people.

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