MEPs finish visit to COSP16 focused on disability rights

MEPs finish visit to COSP16 focused on disability rights


From 13 to 15 June, a delegation of MEPs participated in the 16th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP16).

During their three-day visit to United Nations Headquarters in New York City, the delegation discussed the global implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), as well as thematic issues such as digital accessibility and the development of skills for employment. The EP also co-organised a side event that looked into innovative parliamentary policies and ways to build a disability-inclusive democracy.

EMPL Chair and Head of Delegation Dragoş Pîslaru (Renew, RO) underlined the importance of having this side event, the first one organised by the Parliament at the UN.

“We can only advance the agenda on disability with real institutional and parliamentary engagement. Parliaments, as legislators, have to act as an example in delivering on their obligation of mainstreaming the rights for persons with disabilities, as granted under the UN CRPD, throughout all policies. We, The European Parliament, have shown our determination for a meaningful engagement on this topic. We have created the CRPD Network, composed of 13 parliamentary Committees and have revamped its activity, under the chairmanship of the newly created Disability Rights Coordinator,” he said.

MEPs had several meetings during the trip, including with Mr Craig Mokhiber, the Director in the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; UN Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Mr Li Junhua; the CRPD Committee Rapporteur on the Report on the EU, expected for 2024/2025, Markus Schefer; and Ms Ruyendrini Menikidwela, Director of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in New York.

The delegation existed of members of the EMPL committee, the LIBE committee and the PETI committee, with Committee Chair Dragoş Pîslaru (Renew, RO), Abir Al-Sahlani (Renew, SE), Katrin Langensiepen (Greens/EFA, DE), Janina Ochojska (EPP, PL), Maria Grapini (S&D, RO), Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (EPP, ES), and Cristina Maestre Martin de Almagro (S&D, ES).

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