OUR VOICE AT THE UN - Issue 1: January 2015 No Images?  Click here

Issue 1: January 2015


Welcome to OUR VOICE AT THE UN, II’s newest publication series focused on how II and our members are making the voices of people with intellectual disabilities and their families heard at the United Nations and in global discussion that impact on our lives.


OUR VOICE AT THE UN is a quarterly series that will provide information on:

  • how we are affecting change at the UN and in global efforts
  • how to get involved in efforts and initiatives that will impact your communities and your country. 

This edition will focus on the 2015 Development Agenda and the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  For more information please contact Anna MacQuarrie, amacquarrie@inclusion-international.org

Post 2015 Millenium Framework

The 2015 Countdown is ON!

2015 will mark the end of the Millennium Development Goals  and introduce a new post-2015 development framework.  OUR VOICE matters in this discussion!  The new development framework will determine how:

  • international development assistance is provided
  • money is spent on education, health care and other matters that impact inclusion in our communities.
  • Governments will be accountable

We need OUR VOICE to be heard so we can ensure these efforts are inclusive and that key targets, indicators and measures include people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

On December 31, 2014, the UN Secretary General released the newest report: The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet.  The report positions the Sustainable Development Goals at the centre of 6 essential elements:


A final framework will be agreed to at the UN Summit for the Adoption of the post-2015 Development Agenda, a high-level plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly, 25-27 September 2015 at UN Headquarters.  Over the coming months governments will be negotiating this framework and seeking input from civil society.

II will be working with our members and partners like the International Disability Alliance and the International Disability and Development Consortium to bring OUR VOICES to this framework. 

Share your perspectives with us and track the process while we work to build an inclusive post-2015 development agenda.


UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The CRPD Committee meets twice in Geneva to review government reports. The next meeting of the Committee is 25 March – 17 April, 2015 in Geneva. 

Please let us know if you are attending and we will coordinate an II delegation.

OUR VOICE is heard by the Committee through:

  • States Parties and Parallel Reports
  • General days of Discussion
  • General Comments
  • Committee Sessions


States Parties are required to report to the Committee on their progress and efforts to make the CRPD real in their country.  Civil Society groups are encouraged to submit parallel reports that document their perspective on the country’s CRPD efforts.  The Committee reviews reports and develops a List of Issues  (LOI) for countries to reply to.  Following a review of the response to the LOI, the Committee issues Concluding Observations making recommendations for action by the country. 


  • 78 countries have submitted reports. 
  • 25 LOIs have been developed
  • 21 countries have replied to the LOIs received
  • 20 Concluding Observations have been issued

In 2015, 21 countries will submit reports:

  • Gabon, Kenya, Mauritius, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Cook Islands, Mongolia, Thailand, Croatia, Czech Republic, European Union, Germany, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Jordan, and Qatar.

The following will be reviewed at the 13th Session of the Committee:

  • Cook Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Germany, Mongolia and Turkmenistan

OUR VOICE in reporting

II tracks submissions to the Committee by states parties and civil society.  II can provide support to members to submit reports and help you ensure OUR VOICE is heard by the Committee.  An initial scan of civil society reports indicates that 6 II members have submitted reports or participated in coalition reports. 

II has developed a short survey for members to get feedback on engagement in the reporting process.  Please fill-in the survey and let us know about your experience about reporting.

Day of General Discussion

The Committee will hold a Day of General Discussion on Education on 15 April, 2015 in Geneva. The decision comes from the Committee’s review of national reports regarding the implementation of Article 24.  The Committee has issued a call for submissions for the Day of General Discussion.  All interested stakeholders are invited to submit written contributions – no more than 10 pages – in word format by the 20th March 2015 to jaraya@ohchr.org. More information can be found here

II will be developing a brief for submission.  II welcomes the Committee’s recognition that excluding persons with disabilities from education “also hinders their meaningful participation on an equal basis with others in all spheres of life.”   An initial scan of the Committee’s Concluding Observations indicates the Committee has a progressive and positive approach to inclusive education that is consistent with many II positions.

In the coming weeks, II will circulate a short survey to its members asking members to identify key issues to be addressed in II’s submission.  In late February, II will host two webinars (one in English; one in Spanish) on the submission.

General Comments

General Comments are principled comments drafted by the CRPD Committee used to interpret provisions in the CRPD.  The Committee has announced its intention to develop three General Comments in 2015: Article 6 (women with disabilities) Article 19 (living and being included in the community); Article 24(education).  The General Comment on Education will be drafted based on the conclusions of the Day of General Discussion.  Once the drafting process is underway, there will be an opportunity to provide input on the General Comment. II will monitor this and provide information as it becomes available. 


Next Issue

The next issue of Our Voices will be issued on March 27, 2015.  The next issue will include information about the Day of General Discussion and updated information on the General Comment.