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National Council on Disability Commends Adoption of United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

Monday, December 18, 2006

NCD #06-527
December 18, 2006 

WASHINGTON―National Council on Disability (NCD) chairperson John R. Vaughn today released the following statement regarding the adoption of the United Nations International Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

NCD commends the United Nations General Assembly, UN delegates, non-governmental representatives, and civil society for the hard work invested in a new convention on the rights of people with disabilities around the world. This momentous occasion marks the end of a five-year long negotiation process that was unprecedented in its inclusion of non-governmental organizations made up of people with disabilities and is the first convention of this magnitude in this century that will further the human rights of millions of people with disabilities around the world, along with their families and the communities in which they live and work.

The treaty is now open for signature and ratification. If 20 countries sign and ratify, the treaty will enter into force. At that point, other countries wishing to become party to the convention must “accede,” meaning that they must sign and ratify at the same time. If a country signs the treaty at the outset of its adoption by the General Assembly, the country is considered to be a signatory, and the country is then allowed to take more time to decide whether it wants to ratify and become a “States Party.” If the country signs, but then decides not to ratify, it is still a signatory or the country can “unsign” if they have no intention of ever ratifying.

For more information on NCD and its work on the Convention, please see UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities Takes Giant Step Forward.

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