– The European Parliament debates the EU implementation of the UN CRPD in Plenary Session

Published on: May 20, 2015

The International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) welcomes the European Parliament’s initiative to vote on a resolution during the plenary session today, 20 May 2015, regarding the review of the EU implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). In June 2014, the EU published its initial report, which was the basis for the CRPD Committee Members to develop a List of Issues with questions to be clarified by the EU by 22 June 2015.

IDDC is positively impressed by the willingness of the European Parliament (EP) to claim its place in the review process of UN CRPD implementation, as the only institution directly elected by the European citizens to represent them. Several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from different EP Committees expressed the crucial role of the EP within the European Institutions, and the establishment of a Disability Intergroup in the EP demonstrates the commitment of this EU body to the rights of persons with disabilities.

During the debate, which started with the statement of Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, the exclusion of persons with disabilities in the Labour Market and in Education were two of the main concerns MEPs. However, IDDC regrets the absence of references to inclusive EU External Actions, specifically related to Article 11 on Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies and Article 32 on International Cooperation of the UN CRPD.

Given the EU’s status as the lead donor of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the world, and its influence in international fora, we highlight the need for the EU to act ambitiously in the context of its External Action, and to act in a fashion fitting to the champion of human rights it should be, according to its founding Treaties. The specific references in the List of Issues to Article 11 and 32 demonstrate the importance of EU External Actions for the Committee Members, due to the impact of inclusive policies in developing countries, which benefit not only to persons with disabilities but to the entire society.

Knowing this, we believe that the implementation of Articles 11 and 32 are extremely important, and that the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the EU’s humanitarian and development actions are key points of international cooperation. The proved link between disability and poverty demonstrates that sustainable development cannot be achieved without the inclusion of 1 billion persons with disabilities living in developing countries.

In conclusion, while this Resolution is a step towards a more inclusive society in which no one is left behind, the European Parliament must lead the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all EU actions, including Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, in the context of the UN CRPD implementation. IDDC will continue supporting the work of the European Parliament and the European Commission during and after the Constructive Dialogue with the UN CRPD Committee Members, which will take place in August. We will also work for the consideration of the UN CRPD Committee recommendations in the review of the European Disability Strategy, fostering the inclusion of persons with disabilities in EU External Actions.

Source Article from IDDC

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