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Jordan celebrates 10th anniversary of UN accord on disability

UN official says Kingdom’s ratification encourages regional endorsement of convention

By Dana Al Emam - Nov 22,2016 - Last updated at Nov 22,2016

HRH Prince Raad, Chief Chamberlain, attends a ceremony in Amman on Monday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Further international cooperation is needed for advancing state parties’ commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), according to a senior UN official.

Maria Soledad, the chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said the panel’s recommendations consider the countries’ resources, but they also ensure any restrictive economic measures “cannot affect the rights of persons with disabilities”.

Meanwhile, she said more international cooperation and further integration of civil society organisations worldwide are necessary for a better implementation of the CRPD provisions.

Soledad cited a “strong connection” between the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and the CRPD, including articles on inclusion and education, adding that persons with disabilities comprise around 15 per cent of the world’s population.

In an interview with The Jordan Times during her visit to the Kingdom on the occasion of the convention’s 10th anniversary, the UN official said Jordan’s ratification of the CRPD encourages regional ratification of the convention. 

“To celebrate the 10th anniversary in Jordan is a special moment to invite other parties for the universal ratification,” she added, noting that celebrations of the anniversary around the world stress the global significance of advancing the rights of people with disabilities.

Speaking on Monday at an event marking the CRPD’s 10th anniversary, organised by the Higher Council for the Affairs of Persons with Disabilities (HCD), HH Prince Mired, president of the HCD, said the convention is a reminder to the world that people with disabilities are key to the overall realisation of development and progress.

He highlighted national efforts in advancing disability rights so that people with disabilities can lead dignified lives based on equality, non-discrimination and equal opportunities.

“Jordan was one of the first countries to ratify the convention in 2008,” the prince said, adding that a legal committee was recently formed to develop a new draft law on the rights of persons with disabilities, to realise the envisioned results.

Mohammad Tarawneh, a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said the panel’s task is to deliberate with state parties over their national reports, compare them with other shadow reports and draw up the needed recommendations that enable states to advance the rights of people with disabilities.

“The purpose of the CRPD is to promote, protect and ensure full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all people with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity,” he said. 

During her visit to Jordan, Soledad toured a number of institutions that are concerned with persons with disabilities and advancing their rights.

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