Our guide to the 12th session of the conference of states parties to the CRPD

UN Headquarters, New York (10th June 2019),

The 12th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD will take place from the 10th to the 13th of June 2019 at the UN Headquarters in New York. You can find the agenda here and follow on twitter through the hashtags #COSP12 and #CRPD

The annual Conference will take stock of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The theme is “Ensuring inclusion of persons with disabilities in a changing world through the implementation of the CRPD” and the cross-cutting theme is Awareness Raising
The Sub-themes are

  1. Technology, digitalization and ICTs for the empowerment and inclusion of persons with disabilities
  2. Social inclusion and the right to the highest attainable standard of health
  3. Inclusion of persons with disabilities in society through participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sports

Our president Yannis Vardakastanis, executive committee member Nadia Hadad, vice-president Pat Clarke, board members John Dolan and Pierre Gyselinck, director Catherine Naughton and policy coordinator Alejandro Moledo will be speaking at a selection of side events which are listed below:


For more detailed information on each individual event, click here to access our event calendar


Monday 10th June

(Civil Society Forum) Where we Stand, and What is the Current State of Play
- 10:30 AM TO 11:45 AM / Conference Room 6 -
Intervention by Yannis Vardakastanis
The Civil Society Coordination Mechanism, facilitated by the International Disability Alliance will host a Civil Society Forum, as an addition to the 12th Session of the CoSP to the CRPD, to leverage the opportunity to amplify the voice and facilitate the adequate and active participation of persons with disabilities. It will be held on 10 June, from 10am to 6pm, in Conference Room 4 at the UN headquarters in New York #CSFCRPD

ICT Accessibility: The Key to Inclusive Digital Society –International Telecommunication UNION, UNDESA
- 1 PM TO 2:30 PM / Conference Room 6 -
Intervention by Alejandro Moledo
ICTs play a vital role in ALL people’s empowerment, and represent an enabler for inclusion in society. Additionally ICTs have the potential to quickly and radically improve people’s lives, for example by facilitating access to information, basic services, healthcare and education, but these technologies are not always accessible or available to everyone. Therefore to achieve these goals the ICT should be available, accessible and affordable for all.
Will be livecast

Artificial Intelligence and the Potential to Increase Inclusion, Participation and Independence for People with Disabilities – Essl Foundation
- 4:45 PM TO 6 PM / Conference Room C -
Intervention by Alejandro Moledo
Questions addressed at this session will include: What implications could AI and AI related technologies have for the everyday life of people with disabilities and the older generation? What factors need to be taken into consideration when defining standards and legal frameworks? What are the effects of successful AI examples like automated language translation services, picture and face recognition on people with disabilities? What steps are necessary to introduce AI as a supporting tool for people with disabilities?


Tuesday 11th June

How to Make Disability Votes CountDisability Federation Ireland
- 8:15 AM TO 9:30 AM / Conference Room 6 -
Yannis Vardakastannis will be sharing his experience of the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament. This event aims to progress understanding of participation and representation of persons with disabilities in political and public life. It shares examples of good practice from the EU and Ireland.
Will be livecast

Disability and Ageing: Shaping the Agenda of TomorrowEuropean Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD)
- 11:30 AM to 12:45 PM / Conference Room C -
Intervention by Pat Clarke
This side event will explore the links between disability and ageing, existing and needed services and will discuss key issues at stake as well as innovative models of support put in place at national level.

The Experience of the EU Disability Card – Delegation of the European Union
- 1:15 PM TO 2:30 PM / Conference Room C -
Intervention by John Dolan, who will be giving a detailed critique of the EU Disability Card pilot project as well as proposing ways forward, including the extension of the initiative to all member states and harmonizing the card on the EU level.

Celebrating 20 Years of the International Disability Alliance – International Disability Alliance
- 3 PM TO 4:15 PM / Conference Room 11 -
Through the side-event, IDA aims to take stock of its progress over the past 20 years, including its key achievements and highlights, while also recognising the gaps in its work. The aim of the side-event will be to identify areas of further collaboration between the members of IDA and its partners and all relevant stakeholders, including donors and United Nations agencies.

Leadership for Policy Change: Government, INGO and DPO Strategies for Political Inclusion - Permanent Mission of the United States of America , International Foundation for Electoral Systems
- 3 PM TO 4:15 PM / Conference Room C -
Intervention by Pat Clarke
This panel will discuss good practices and lessons learned for drafting and influencing policy. The U.S. Mission to the UN's biannual resolution on elections, which integrates the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all stages of the election process, will run again this year. In Southeast Asia and Europe, examples of how DPOs have advocated for regional policy change will be highlighted. In Armenia, new research has found that women with disabilities experience additional barriers to influencing public policy but have taken a leading role in political advocacy.


Wednesday 12th June

Advancing Advocacy and Visibility of People with Disabilities in the Media: Experience and Innovation
- 11:30 AM to 12:45 PM / Conference Room B -
Intervention by Pat Clarke
In this interactive session, participants will learn practical skills to raise awareness and increase visibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the media. Advocates with disabilities will share their experiences and best practices utilizing the media to advance their advocacy and advance the rights of people with disabilities using different media formats. Multimedia and digital communications experts will share techniques and tools for using and engaging different social media platforms as well as print, television, and radio.


Thursday 13th June

Technology Solutions for Engaging and Retaining Persons with Disabilities in the Workplace – Leonard Cheshire
- 9:45 AM TO 11 AM / Conference Room B -
Intervention by John Dolan
This side event will feature speakers from a consortium, led by Leonard Cheshire, which brings together partners from the Global South and Global North who will present findings from the co-creation phase of i2i -Innovation to Inclusion, a DFID funded programin Kenya and Bangladesh. I2I is designed to explore innovative market-based ICT interventions to improve accessand retention to waged employment in the private sector for women and men with disabilities.

Accessible Public Procurement: Making Sure Tax Payers Money is Spent on Accessibility – European Disability Forum
- 4:45 PM TO 6PM / Conference Room C -
Organised by EDF with an intervention by Yannis Vardakastannis. Moderated by Catherine Naughton.
The purpose of this side event is to advance the CRPD by ensuing the best approach to accessible public procurement. The event will tackle Legislation on procurement Implementation through standards The economic impact of accessible procurement Monitoring _ Partnership for accessible procurement - looking at the role of government, the private sector, persons with disabilities and their organisations

Making Inclusion a Reality! – Christian Blind Mission (CBM)
- 6:30 PM TO 8 PM / Conference Room 11-
Intervention by Catherine Naughton
The event will include examples of how DPOs and persons with disabilities have been at the front line for ensuring the activities carried out by mainstream development and humanitarian actors meet the requirements of the CRPD and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and in turn contribute to a more inclusive world for persons with disabilities. The organizers invite all interested in participating in attending an event to learn more about how we can work together to make the global impetus for inclusion a reality.

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