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Disability Convention a Welcome Step

Media Release
For Immediate Release

28 August 2006

Disability Convention a Welcome Step

Agreement by a United Nations drafting committee to the first ever treaty on rights for disabled people is a welcome step says DPA, the national organisation of disabled people.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted in New York last week, and DPA Vice President Marion Wellington says it will make a positive difference to 800 million people worldwide.

“ It’s hugely important for us to have the same rights and protections as others in our communities; the right to exist she comments.

It’s been a long time coming. There have been difficult issues to agree on, but we did it, and now we can claim our place in the sunshine too”.

She is also pleased that New Zealand was a leader in the convention. NZ Ambassador Don MacKay chaired the committee writing the convention, and disabled people’s organisations were always members of the official delegation from NZ. “It’s a concrete way of supporting our participation” she says.

The convention is a landmark because of the part disabled people played. “In the past, governments worked out conventions for groups of people “, explains National Policy Researcher for DPA, Wendi Wicks.

“ But this time, disabled people’s organisations worked out the wording of the convention in partnership with governments and that’s a first. People will recognise that people power has happened at the United Nations and say ‘That’s a huge step forward” she comments. Disabled people led they way.

ENDS

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