Council decides on the European Community becoming a party to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

01 Dec 2009

The Council Decision will later be followed by the deposit with the UN of the instrument of formal confirmation when all Member States have completed the ratification of the UNCRPD. 12 Member States have already ratified the Convention. The conclusion by the EC will take effect once the instrument has been deposited.

The Convention is the first international legally binding instrument establishing minimum standards for the protection and safeguarding of a full range of civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of persons with disabilities around the world. It is also the first comprehensive human rights convention to which the EC is becoming a party.

Just ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December), and in accordance with the explicit request from the European Parliament, the Council decided to give the green light for the European Community to conclude the UN Convention that aims to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with others. The Decision was taken on the basis of a Commission proposal of 29 August 2008.

The European Commission is therefore calling on the remaining Member States to speed up their ratification processes. At the same time the Commission is working on a range of implementation measures, including the preparation of a new European Disability Strategy 2010-2020.