Conference of State Parties to the UN CRPD

The Conference of State Parties is an annual event organised by the United Nations. During the Conference, participants discuss the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Participants include representatives of the State Parties (countries and regional organisations that ratified the Convention), civil society organisations (such as organisations of persons with disabilities) and disability rights experts (such as the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities and academics).

The conference, and its side events, usually take place during June at the UN headquarters in New York. However, this year the event will be partly virtual.

The Conference was established by article 40 of the Convention.

14th session

The 14th session of the Conference will take place between 15 June and 17 June 2021. The theme is “Building back better: COVID-19 response and recovery; Meeting the needs, Realizing the rights and Addressing the socio-economic impacts on persons with disabilities”

Three subthemes:

  • Sub theme 1: Protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies
  • Sub theme 2: Living Independently, being included in the community
  • Sub theme 3: Right to education; challenges with inclusive education and accessibility during COVID-19

You can read more about this session in the International Disability Alliance’s dedicated webpage.

You can also check the guide of the International Disability Alliance for this session.

Why is it important?

The Conference is an opportunity for State Parties to show their efforts to implement the Convention.

It also allows the international disability community to interact with decision-makers and each other.

The presence of civil society organisations helps realise article 4.3 of the Convention: “In the development and implementation of legislation and policies to implement the present Convention, and in other decision-making processes concerning issues relating to persons with disabilities, States Parties shall closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities, through their representative organizations”.

EDF and the 14th session

14 June

  • Co-sponsor of the side-event “Beyond Bridging the Gap: from inclusive policies to community inclusion” (10h EST/16 CEST). Ana Peláez Narváez, EDF Vice-President, will speak on our behalf. This side event proposes a dialogue on the contribution of Bridging the Gap and its consortium to the translation of inclusive policies to “real-life impacts” aiming at supporting the independent living of persons with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Participation in the side event “Buying Social Support Through Online Platforms: What Way Forward?“. Matthieu Chatelin, member of our Youth Committee, will speak on our behalf. This side event will be the opportunity to discuss online platforms – especially those that are part of the collaborative economy – how they can support independent living and some of the barriers, limitations and threats they may come with.

15 June

  • Video statement during the General debate by our President Ioannis Vardakastanis. The video will be shown between 11h and 18h EST/ 17h and 00h CEST.
  • Participation in the side-event “COVID-19 Response in Humanitarian Settings- How are Persons with Disabilities Included?” (8h30 EST/14h30 CEST). This event will elaborate experiences of persons with disabilities in humanitarian settings during COVID-19, exploring how disability intersects with gender, age and displacement status to compound the impacts of the pandemic. The event will also highlight measures taken by different stakeholders to address the impacts of the pandemic, as well as some good practices and lessons learnt.

16 June

  • A video produced by EDF and CBM Global will be shown during the side event “Disability-Inclusive Climate Action: Why and How? (8h30 EST/14h30 CEST).  This event aims to provide an overview of the steps taken so far and future plans in enhancing inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in climate adaptation and climate mitigation policies and processes.
  • Pirkko Mahlamäki, Executive committee member of European Disability Forum, will speak during the conference in Round Table 2 “Living Independently, being included in the community.” (15h to 17h EST/21h to 23 CEST).

17 June

  • Co-sponsor of the side event “Implementing the UNCRPD through Disability Strategies” (8h30 EST/14h30 CEST) organised by the European Union. This side event will provide an exchange of views on the development of disability strategies as tools for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It will also represent a useful forum to discuss how to implement Article 32 of the UNCRPD on International Cooperation.

How to engage with the Conference?