COTELCO held a Brown Bag session entitled, “The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Overview and The Fifth Session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP5)” on Tuesday, 11 September from 12-1:30pm US EST live from the United Nations in New York. The session discussed the importance of the CRPD and its Conference of States Parties, and the role of IDPP/COTELCO at this year’s COSP5.
A delegation from the COTELCO-led Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) attended COSP5 from 11-14 September 2012 at UN headquarters in New York City. Two current CIDP students and an IDPP staff person serveed as official rapporteurs to the UN Secretariat of the CRPD during COSP5.
Led by IDPP/COTELCO Executive Director Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn, the delegation, whose participation was in collaboration with COTELCO/IDPP partner the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, consisted of Master’s in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) program students Mr. Felipe Millan and Mr. AJ Nanayakkara; IDPP Assistant Director of Communication Ms. Maya Aguilar; and IDPP Senior Research Associate Ms. Kerry Honeycutt.
The CRPD, the first UN human rights treaty of the 21st century, was created by the Ad-Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention to Promote and Protect the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities. The committee was chaired by IDPP faculty member Ambassador Luis Gallegos, who teaches in the CIDP Master's program as part of the curriculum for American University’s first all-online degree and the world's first virtual Master's in disability policy.
Serving as rapporteurs during COSP5 offered current CIDP students the invaluable opportunity to experience first-hand what they are learning in the virtual classroom of their graduate program: the global policy forums and decision-making processes of the UN, and the research, expertise, and advocacy needed to impact the international policies that provide the framework for their studies. COSP5 served as a significant networking opportunity for IDPP and COTELCO to raise awareness of the CIDP Master’s program and its other initiatives. The delegation was also joined by several IDPP Advisory Board members and partner representatives.
COSP5’s theme was “Making the CRPD Count for Women and Children” with the subthemes “Technology and Accessibility,” “Children with Disabilities,” and “Women with Disabilities.” The conference focused on the implementation of the CRPD, including roundtable discussions on the role of civil society, international governments, NGOs, and Disabled Peoples’ Organizations to effectively realize and promote the CRPD.