Talks Begin at UN on Treaty to Protect Rights of Disabled

July 31, 2002 - 0:0
TEHRAN -- Government representatives began talks Monday at the United Nations headquarters in New York on an international treaty aimed at protecting the rights of disabled persons, who make up one-tenth of the global population, according to a press release issued by the UN information center here on Tuesday.

Addressing delegates on behalf of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Undersecretary General for Economic and Social Affairs Nitin Desai said there had been a shift in thinking on the proposed treaty from care, social welfare and medical support to emphasis on the human rights framework necessary to pursue the goal of full participation for persons with disabilities in all aspects of life, IRNA said.

The common endeavor to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities is essential not only for those directly affected but for all people as everyone loses if disabled persons are not allowed to function fully in their respective societies, he added.

Echoing that view was Luis Gallegos of Ecuador, the chairman of the negotiating panel which is known formally as the ad hoc committee on a comprehensive and integral international convention on protection and promotion of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.

Gallegos agreed that the proposed treaty would benefit not only persons with disabilities but society as a whole, since all are part of a social context in which that vulnerable group requires special attention.

During its two-week session, the committee is expected to review a range of proposals on the draft convention.