How Was the CRPD Born? Opportunity to Share Your Story with History

Posted on 30 October 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

We Can Do readers who were involved with the negotiation process for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) may wish to share their stories with the United Nations Intellectual History Project (UNIHP). This could be an important means of documenting the history of how the CRPD was created. The following text is taken directly from the UNIHP web site at; only information provided at the UNIHP website itself should be considered official or up-to-date.

Do You Have a Story to Tell?

Limited time and resources make it impossible for UNIHP staff to conduct oral history interviews with all those who may have served the United Nations as staff members, consultants, researchers, diplomats or chairs of commissions. However, anyone who has participated in UN development activities over the years, and who has a particular story to contribute about the nexus of development ideas, international public policy, and multilateral institutions, is welcome to send us a short, written contribution.

We have set out below some of the questions, about which it would be most useful to receive your own ideas and experiences.

We ask that you send a brief note, 5 to 10 pages, by email to, or by fax or mail to the project’s New York headquarters.

Please note that by sending your contribution to the project you agree to vest copyright with the United Nations Intellectual History Project. This agreement will allow the project to quote directly from your note if it is used in project publications, although it will license you to copy, publish or otherwise use the note for your own purposes.

As the aim of the project is to better understand the UN’s contribution to global economic and social policy and to development discourse and practice, we examine the sources, evolution, and implementation of economic and social ideas generated or promoted by the UN. With this in mind, we ask that your note address the following questions as they relate to your own experience at the UN:

1. Please briefly describe the nature of your affiliation with the UN, positions held, and dates.

2. Could you identify one or two of the most original development ideas that you worked on, or were aware of, during your experience with the UN?

3. Where did this idea originate? Did it come from

a. Intellectual leadership of particular individuals, within or outside UN secretariats?
b. Eminent commissions?
c. Ad hoc global conferences?
d. Expert groups?
e. Academics?
f. NGOs?

4. How did this idea develop? What were the debates about it? Was it promoted, distorted, abandoned, or implemented? Some possible factors to consider that may have impacted on it are:

a. Global or regional events
b. Tensions within and among diplomatic coalitions, i.e. North-South relations within the UN during the Cold War and after; East and West; within “like-minded”; within the least developed.
c. Institutional rivalries or coalitions, including tensions between the UN and the Bretton Woods institutions
d. Quality of the international civil service, including its leadership

5. In your view, did this idea make a difference?

a. Did it change international public policy discourse?
b. Did it provide a guide to national policy and action?
c. Did it alterprospects for forming new coalitions of political or institutional forces?
d. Did it become embedded in institutions?

I became aware of the UNIHP via the AdHoc_IDC email discussion list.

[Published at (We Can Do)]

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