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Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons : towards a society for all in the 21st century : draft resolution / Barbados, Philippines and United Republic of Tanzania

Extracted Text

United Nations A/C.3/58/L.8
General Assembly Distr.: Limited
9 October 2003
Original: English
03-55011 (E) 101003
Fifty-eighth session
Third Committee
Agenda item 106
Social development, including questions relating to the world
social situation and to youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family
Barbados, Philippines and United Republic of Tanzania: draft resolution
Implementation of the World Programme of Action
concerning Disabled Persons: towards a society for all
in the twenty-first century
The General Assembly,
Recalling the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and
reaffirming the obligations contained in relevant human rights instruments,
including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women1 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,2
Recalling also its resolutions 37/52 of 3 December 1982, by which it adopted
the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons,3 48/96 of 20
December 1993, by which it adopted the Standard Rules on the Equalization of
Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, 49/153 of 23 December 1994, 50/144 of
21 December 1995, 52/82 of 12 December 1997, 54/121 of 17 December 1999 and
56/115 of 19 December 2001,
Recalling further all of its relevant resolutions on the equalization of
opportunities for and the human rights of persons with disabilities, and those of the
Economic and Social Council and its functional commissions,
Recalling the United Nations Millennium Declaration adopted on 8 September
2000 by the heads of State and Government at the Millennium Summit of the United
Nations,4 and recognizing the need to promote and protect all human rights and
fundamental freedoms of people with disabilities,
1 Resolution 34/180, annex.
2 Resolution 44/25, annex.
3 A/57/351/Add.1 and Corr.1, annex, sect. VIII, recommendation I (IV).
4 See resolution 55/2.

Noting with appreciation the initiatives and actions of Governments to
implement relevant sections of the Standard Rules and of relevant resolutions that
give special attention to accessible environments and information and
communications technologies, health, education and social services, employment
and sustainable livelihoods, including the relevant activities of intergovernmental
and non-governmental organizations,
Reaffirming the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and
summits and their respective follow-up reviews,
Noting with appreciation the assessment by the Secretary-General of the
implementation of the outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits
to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, ensuring their full
participation and equality, as well as the measures undertaken by the United Nations
system aimed at preventing disabling conditions,5
Noting the adoption by the World Assembly on Ageing of the Political
Declaration and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002,6 which
considered “older persons and disability” as a specific issue for policy concern,
Noting also the preparatory work of the Ad Hoc Committee on a
Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion
of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities of establishing a Working
Group with the aim of preparing and presenting a draft text which would be the
basis for the negotiation of the draft convention,
Recognizing the strong commitment of Governments to the equalization of
opportunities and to the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of
development, as well as the increased interest of the international community in the
promotion and protection of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities under
a comprehensive and integral approach,
Acknowledging the important role of non-governmental organizations in the
promotion and protection of the human rights of persons with disabilities, and
noting in this regard their work in promoting the elaboration of an international
convention on the rights of disabled persons,
Noting with appreciation the important contributions of regional
intergovernmental organizations and the regional commissions of the United Nations
in promoting awareness and building capacities for the full participation and
equality of persons with disabilities, as well as the outcome of international
conferences related to persons with disabilities, including the Interregional Seminar
and Demonstration Workshop on Accessible Information and Communications
Technologies and Persons with Disabilities, held in Manila in March 2003,
Mindful of the need to adopt and implement effective policies and strategies to
promote the rights and the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities
at all levels, including at the community level,
Reiterating that technology, in particular information and communications
technology, provides new possibilities for improving accessibility and employment
5 See A/56/169 and Corr.1, paras. 25 and 26.
6 Report of the Second World Assembly on Ageing, Madrid, 8-12 April 2002 (United Nations
publication, Sales No. E.02.IV.4), chap. I, resolution 1, annexes I and II.

for persons with disabilities and for facilitating their full and effective participation
and equality, and welcoming the initiatives of the United Nations and contributions
from regional groups in promoting information and communications technology as a
means of achieving the universal goal of a society for all,
Recognizing the importance of timely and reliable data on disability-sensitive
topics, programme planning and evaluation and the need for further development of
practical statistical methodology for the collection and compilation of data on
populations with disabilities,
Recognizing also the challenge for the new century to incorporate the
disability dimension better in mainstream technical cooperation activities, since
persons with disabilities are also agents and beneficiaries of development,
Concerned that improvement of awareness of and sensitivity to disability
issues and respect for the human rights of disabled persons has not been significant
enough to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities worldwide,
Concerned also about the slow progress on measurement, monitoring and
evaluation of the situation of persons with disabilities as a mainstream issue,
Concerned further that the association between poverty and disability needs to
be addressed with reference to a development framework as well as the critical
importance of rural issues affecting the situation of persons with disabilities,
Expressing grave concern that situations of armed conflict and acts of
terrorism continue to have especially devastating consequences for the human rights
of persons with disabilities,
1. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-General7 on
the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled
Persons;3 including the Secretary-General’s recommendations related to policy
options to promote the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of
2. Notes with appreciation the valuable work undertaken by the Special
Rapporteur on disability of the Commission for Social Development related to a
comprehensive and integral international convention to protect and promote the
rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, in which a twin-track approach in the
process to elaborate the convention was recommended, and also notes with
appreciation the contribution of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights in supporting the work of the Special Rapporteur;
3. Encourages Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations and the private sector, as appropriate, to continue to take concrete
measures to mainstream persons with disabilities into the development process and
promote the implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions and agreed
international standards concerning persons with disabilities, in particular the
Standard Rules, and for the further equalization of opportunities for persons with
disabilities by focusing on accessibility, health, education, social services, sports
and cultural development, including training and rehabilitation, information and
communications technologies, safety nets, employment and sustainable livelihoods,
7 A/58/61-E/2003/5.

in the design and implementation of strategies, policies and programmes to promote
a more inclusive society;
4. Calls upon Governments to undertake all necessary measures to advance
beyond the adoption of national plans for people with disabilities through, inter alia,
the creation or reinforcement of arrangements for the promotion and awareness of
disability issues and the allocation of sufficient resources for the full
implementation of existing plans and initiatives, and emphasizes in this regard the
importance of supporting national efforts through international cooperation;
5. Encourages Governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations to continue to take practical actions, including public information
campaigns, by, for and with persons with disabilities, with a view to increasing
awareness of and sensitivity to disability issues, combating and overcoming
discrimination against persons with disabilities and furthering their full and effective
participation in society;
6. Encourages Governments to continue their support to non-governmental
organizations and other groups, including self-help groups, that contribute to the
fulfilment of the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning
Disabled Persons, and in this regard, recognizes the important contribution of the
Washington Group on Disability Measurement of the Statistical Commission;
7. Also encourages Governments to involve persons with disabilities in the
formulation of strategies and plans aimed at eradicating poverty, promoting
education and enhancing employment;
8. Urges relevant bodies and organizations of the United Nations system,
including relevant human rights treaty bodies and the regional commissions, as well
as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and institutions, to
continue to work closely with the programme on disability of the Division for Social
Policy and Development of the Secretariat in the promotion of the rights of persons
with disabilities, including activities at the field level, by sharing experiences,
findings, and recommendations on persons with disabilities, and to incorporate the
disability perspective in their activities;
9. Stresses the importance of urgent action to improve data and statistics on
persons with disabilities so that they can be compared internationally for purposes
of policy design, planning and evaluation from the disability perspective;
10. Urges Governments to cooperate with the Statistics Division of the
Secretariat in the continued development of global statistics and indicators on
disability, and encourages them to avail themselves of the technical assistance of the
Division to build national capacities for national data collection systems, including
the compilation and dissemination of data on disabled persons, as well as the
development of methods for data collection and disability statistics, as appropriate;
11. Urges Governments, intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental
organizations to provide special protection to girls and women with
disabilities, older people with disabilities, rural people with disabilities, indigenous
people with disabilities, persons disabled owing to terrorist acts and armed conflict
and persons with developmental and psychiatric disabilities, with special emphasis
on integrating them into society through enabling interventions and environments

essential to their independence, including reasonable accommodation, and
protecting and promoting their human rights;
12. Urges Governments, in collaboration with the United Nations system, to
give special attention to the rights, needs and well-being of children with disabilities
and their families in the development of policies and programmes, including the
implementation of the Standard Rules;
13. Encourages Governments, intergovernmental organizations, concerned
non-governmental organizations and the private sector to continue to support the
United Nations Voluntary Fund on Disability with a view to strengthening its
capacity to support catalytic and innovative activities to implement fully the World
Programme of Action and the Standard Rules, including the work of the Special
Rapporteur, and to support activities to build national capacities, with emphasis on
priorities for action identified in the present resolution;
14. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to support initiatives of
relevant bodies and organizations of the United Nations system, as well as those of
regional, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and institutions,
for the promotion of all human rights of, and non-discrimination in respect of,
persons with disabilities and the further implementation of the World Programme of
Action, as well as their efforts to integrate persons with disabilities in technical
cooperation activities, both as beneficiaries and as decision makers;
15. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his efforts in
improving the accessibility of the United Nations for persons with disabilities, and
urges him to continue to implement plans to provide a barrier-free environment;
16. Welcomes the review by the Secretary-General in his current report on the
fourth quinquennial review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action,7 and
requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its sixtieth
session a report on the implementation of the present resolution.