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Statement for the Record - Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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Statement for Submission to the Record
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
July 12, 2012

 The National Council on Disability Urges Expeditious Senate Approval of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing regarding ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The Convention was undertaken with the same goals as America had in enacting the ADA: to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society. While the United States (U.S.) has fostered considerable progress through international collaborations, far too many people with disabilities languish under their countries’ insufficient governmental frameworks.  Ratification of the CRPD will be an enormous step forward in enhancing the lives of people with disabilities around the world.

Ratification of the CRPD will also allow U.S. participation at the CRPD Conference of States Parties and permit the U.S. to appoint a member of the CRPD Committee.  Through these mechanisms, the U.S. can influence guidance on the implementation of the treaty and lend its expertise as more countries develop their own disability rights laws. 

During the six years of the drafting of the Convention, the Administration provided fundamental and valued technical assistance during the eight sessions of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee. The U.S. delegation drew on our nation's prolific experience with disability laws and policies in providing guidance on the foundational principles of the Convention. In both our mandated advisory role and that of promoting policy that enhances the lives of people with disabilities, the National Council on Disability (NCD) was pleased to support the efforts of the United States in the Convention development process.

By being a signatory to this historic document, and submitting it to the U.S. Senate for consideration, the current Administration provided its clear support for the principles of the Convention.  NCD urges the Senate to expeditiously approve this historic treaty.  Upon ratification, the United States will join more than 114 other countries in committing themselves to protecting the rights of people with disabilities.

NCD’s Press Release upon submission to the United States Senate can be found here: /newsroom/052512