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New Zealander to chair UN disabilities committee

21 April 2005
Media statement

New Zealander to chair UN disabilities committee

New Zealand's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Don MacKay, is to chair the committee drafting a new convention covering the rights of people with disabilities, Foreign Minister Phil Goff and Minister for Disability Issues Ruth Dyson announced today.

"Don's election recognises the contribution he has made to the negotiations through his chairmanship of the working group that drafted the initial convention text and his coordination of the informal consultations," Mr Goff said.

“It is also recognition of the considerable contribution the New Zealand delegation has made to the negotiations so far, and the efforts we are making to protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities here in New Zealand."

Ms Dyson said New Zealand's contribution to the convention had been developed in partnership with disabled New Zealanders, who had also been represented on the delegation.

“The 600 million people with disabilities around the world are often denied the most basic of human rights to which they, like everyone else, are entitled to enjoy.

“There is a pressing need for a new convention that robustly affirms this entitlement. New Zealand is committed to concluding this convention as a matter of considerable urgency,” Ms Dyson said.

ENDS

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