In closing remarks, Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, the Committee Chairperson, said that the session had been useful and productive. He particularly thanked the people who provided captioning, and the personal assistants who had helped Committee Members and attendees with their personal disabilities.
Representatives of two non-governmental organizations took the floor to express their appreciation for a very productive and colourful session, in particular the rich half-day discussion. A representative noted that the session had once again been webcast on the internet in English, Spanish and with captioning, and that people had watched the webcast 45 countries across the world, in particular from Paraguay.
During the session the Committee reviewed the initial report of Paraguay, and heard statements from several non-governmental organizations. It also held a half-day general discussion on women and girls with disabilities, focusing on the themes of the intersectionality of gender and discrimination, violence against women and girls with disabilities and their sexual and reproductive rights. Statements, the programme and submissions by non-governmental organizations are available via the following link: www.ohchr.org/CRPD/DGD.
Five new Committee Members took their solemn declarations at the opening meeting of the session: Martin Babu Mwesigwa, Munthian Buntan, Laszlo Gabor Lovaszy, Diane Mulligan, Safak Pavey and Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, who was elected Chairperson. Theresia Degener, Ronald Mc Callum and Carlos Rios Espinoza were elected Vice-Chairpersons of the Committee, and Mr. Mwesigwa was elected as Rapporteur. The Committee also elected a new bureau, adopted its agenda and provisional programme of work for the session, and adopted its second list of issues for consideration of the reports of Australia, Austria and El Salvador, to be reviewed next session.
During that meeting Wan-Hea Lee, Head of the Groups in Focus Section of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, addressed the Committee noting that since its last session the number of States parties to the Convention and its Optional Protocol had increased. Furthermore the Committee had successfully obtained the approval of the sixty-seventh session of the General Assembly to hold two pre-sessions, and the General Assembly had also authorised the addition of two weeks of plenary meeting time per year beginning 2014.
The concluding observations on Paraguay will be available to read in full from Monday 22 April 2013, on the Committee’s webpage.
The tenth session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will take place from 2 to 13 September 2013 when it will review the reports of Austria, Australia and El Salvador.
For use of information media; not an official record