Why a half marathon? Well, three weeks instead of five of the meeting of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ 16th session is almost half! Monday 15th: The opening of the 16th session starts at 10 o’clock. We get to hear statements from UN staff, agencies and bodies, civil society organisations and a roundup of inter-sessional work from the Chair of the Committee, Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes from Chile. You can watch this, and all the examinations of countries, via the webcasting facility, kindly provided by the International Disability Alliance. At lunchtime, we will have a briefing by organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) from Uruguay. The afternoon will be the first of seven exams also known as the consideration of the initial report. First up is Uruguay, which will last for three hours and then continues on the morning of Tuesday, 16th for a further three hours. This is the standard time format.
States parties bring a delegation, which can be just four people to over fifty, from high-ranking civil servants and diplomats to junior staff. The head of the delegation makes an opening statement, followed by the Country Rapporteur, who in the case of Uruguay is Carlos Parradussa from Columbia – his first time, good luck! Then the National Human Rights Institution or equivalent body can make a brief statement, followed by questions from the Committee members in three tranches. First, articles 1-10, followed by 15 minutes for the delegation to prepare their answers, repeated for articles 11-20 and then 21-33 over a total period of six hours. At lunchtime we’ll have a briefing by DPOs of Ethiopia and go straight into the first part of the Ethiopian exam led by Martin Babu Committee Member from Uganda.
Wednesday, 17th continues with three hours of dialogue with Ethiopia, followed by a lunch briefing by DPOs of Bolivia and into their exam for the afternoon led by Silvia Quan, Committee Member from Guatemala.
Thursday, 18th morning session will end after three hours of further dialogue with Bolivia,then lunchtime briefing by DPOs of United Arab Emirates, and the beginning of the consideration of their initial report led by Mohammed Al-Tarawneh Committee Member from Jordan.
And it is the end of week one – Friday, 19th morning continues with the dialogue of the United Arab Emirates and then a different lunch briefing by the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance, NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva, with the support of Age International on “Protecting the rights of older persons and the Treaty Bodies. Opportunities and challenges” a critical area of work to pursue. In the afternoon, we will discuss activities under the Optional Protocol, where we can discuss individual complaints brought to the attention of the Committee.
Keep up to date via my twitter feed: @Diane_CBM and #CRPD16 #CRPD