The 11th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD and parallel events took place at the United Nations in New York from 10-15 June. The overarching theme of the session was Leaving no one behind through the full implementation of the CRPD.
CBM was strongly involved in various ways in six side events, a data workshop for DPOs, and a training on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). CBM supported three DPO partners, from Kenya, Palestine, and Vietnam, who were official panelists at different events throughout the week. Additionally, David Bainbridge, International Director, presented an official CBM statement during the General Debate among Member States and civil society.
The CRPD Committee election took place at this year’s COSP, and our long-time partner, Risna Utami from OHANA Indonesia was elected! Risna credited CBM for much of her success due to our continual support over the years at the national level with CBM Indonesia, as well as support to attend global UN events since 2014. Congratulations, Risna!
Some key points from CBM-related activities are highlighted below.
Sunday 10 June
Training: Elizabeth Lockwood co-facilitated a training for DPOs on the Measurement of Disability organized by UNICEF, IDA, and IDDC. A concrete outcome was that many participants indicated a need for an advocacy toolkit on how to engage national statistical offices at the country level. We, in partnership with IDA, will compose a toolkit for this purpose.
Tuesday 12 June
- Event: Co-sponsored by CBM: Artificial Intelligence 2030: Transformative Inclusion for All event. David Bainbridge gave an official intervention and launched the Digital Accessibility Toolkit, which was well received. David stated that “CBM recognizes that artificial intelligence - and technology in general - has the potential to transform the lives of people with disabilities. That is why CBM feels it is critical for us to play a role in contributing towards bridging the gap between technology and inclusion through digital accessibility.”
- Event: If I’m not counted I don’t count. better data to improve the lives of persons with disabilities in which joint CBM-IDA SDG data work was presented. An important conclusion was that “disability data cannot be collected or disaggregated without applying the principle of nothing about us without us, that requires official collaboration between umbrella DPOs and governments.”
- Event: Co-sponsored by CBM: Persons with Disabilities in Emergency Settings: Ensuring the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities within humanitarian emergencies and peacebuilding processes; joint CBM-HI-IDA project was presented, and our partner from Palestine, Shatha Abu Srour was a panelist. Shatha stated that “DPOs need to have trainings on how to be key players in humanitarian settings.”
Wednesday 13 June
Event: Co-organized and led by CBM: Including the most likely to be left behind: Women and Girls with Disabilities in rural and remote settings; our partner from Vietnam, Lan Anh Nguyen, was a panelist presenting work directly from her perspective. Lan Anh presented powerful findings from Vietnam: “We have interviewed 117 women and girls with disabilities to understand their situation in remote areas. Most of them belong to poor households and have low educational levels, and some are not able to go to schools. Forty-six percent have been sexually violated or violated (based on WHO definition of violence). And when being sexually violated, women and girls with disabilities in remote areas have few ways to report this and little access to support services.”
- General Debate: David Bainbridge, International Director, CBM International, presented the official CBM statement. In one part he stated that “the meaningful and effective participation of persons with disabilities is crucial for their own inclusion but benefit to society as a whole. Given our partner approach, we work with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations to meaningfully engage to promote their rights at all levels and with various stakeholders.” You can watch the full presentation here (at the 1:11 mark).
- Event: Co-sponsored by CBM: Financing the implementation of the CRPD: problems of inconsistency and instability with a focus on experiences of women and refugees with disabilities; Emma Pettey, Emergency Response Unit, presented on behalf of CBM. One point she presented was that “multi-stakeholder partnerships can provide a valuable space for dialogue among government officials, policy makers, UN entities and other stakeholders, including DPOs, disabled women groups, and communities of disabled refugees and migrants showcasing the work of multi-stakeholder partnerships in supporting the achievement of the CRPD and the SDGs, by focusing efforts where the challenges are greatest, and ensuring the inclusion and participation of those who are furthest behind.”
Thursday 14 June
Roundtable: Our partner, Anderson Kitonga from United Disabled Persons of Kenya was an official panelist on the roundtable discussion on political participation and equal recognition before the law. Andersons stated that "for the first time, in our most recent election, we had 25 people with disabilities running for political positions. This is a clear measure of gradual change of attitude.” Anderson also shared with CBM that when he was young, he attended a school for the blind in Kenya that was fully funded by CBM and he had an eye operation, also, funded by CBM. He told us that he would not be the DPO leader he is today if it had not been for the support of CBM. I will end on this powerful example of support and advocacy over time and how it can truly change lives.