The 14th session of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is currently taking place in Geneva. In follow-up to the adoption of the List of Issues in April 2015, the Constructive Dialogue between the EU and the CRPD committee was scheduled for 27 and 28 August.  

On 26 August, the day before the start of the Constructive Dialogue, the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) organised a side event to inform CRPD committee members about the EU’s commitments and the gaps in the EU’s implementation of Article 11 (Situations of risk and Humanitarian emergencies) and Article 32 (International Cooperation) of the CRPD. During the IDDC side event ‘Persons with disabilities in EU External Action: from policy to practice’, Priscille Geiser from IDDC, Hellen Grace Asamo who is a Member of Parliament in Uganda, and Catherine Naughton from the European Disability Forum (EDF) shared their views on the EU’s responsibilities towards an inclusive international cooperation. The debate was moderated by Alex Cote from the International Disability Alliance (IDA).

Priscille Geiser, Chair of IDDC, presented the main results of the IDDC response to the EU List of Issues. She highlighted the lack of systematic mainstreaming in EU development policies and programmes and the lack of knowledge of EU Delegation staff on disability inclusive development. Furthermore she stated that “the EU should champion disability inclusive indicators in the SDG framework.”

Hellen Grace Asamo, a Member of Parliament in Uganda, stressed that “there is a need to involve Persons with Disabilities right from the planning to the implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes of development programmes”. She also mentioned that the EU can play an important role in being an example for other countries. “The EU should walk the talk after the ratification of the UN CRPD and support governments to implement this Convention.”

Finally, Catherine Naughton, Director of the European Disability Forum (EDF), offered her expertise on EU International Cooperation and supported IDDC’s views. She confirmed that there is a strong need for a disability inclusive international development framework.  .

The 10 CRPD committee members attending the event showed a clear interest in the EU’s responsibilities and raised questions on the competencies from the EU versus the EU member states with regard to international cooperation, on IDDC’s priorities, and on the possibility of establishing a quality monitoring system of EU international cooperation including disability markers.

In addition, IDDC also attended and supported the side event of the European Disability Forum. Alba Gonzalez from the IDDC delegation, was a member of the panel and presented IDDC’s view on inclusive international cooperation.

When listening to the Constructive Dialogue between the EU and the CRPD committee on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 of August, it seemed the CRPD committee members were clearly inspired by IDDC’s response to the List of Issues and by the IDDC side event. The EU received several questions on its implementation of both Article 11 and Article 32 of the CRPD.

On Thursday 3 September, the CRPD committee will adopt the Concluding Observations. We are already looking forward to reading the recommendations on Articles 11 and 32, and to working closely with both the EU and the CRPD committee towards ensuring more inclusive international cooperation.

Source Article from IDDC

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