International Day of Persons With Disabilities

Once again it is our international day. I was wishing that it was called International Disability Justice Day or at least International Disability Rights Day. While quibbling about the name is pretty meaningless, working for the passage of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) is critical. Let’s get it passed this year…make sure the U.S. signs on to the treaty.Call the members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and tell them to GET IT DONE!

Here are 4 considerations from the CRPD organizers:

Things to keep in mind:

1. If a mark up of a CRPD resolution by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee doesn’t happen till 2014 there is going to be much more competition for Senators’ time.
2. Credible guidance on how to draft reservations, understandings, and declarations (RUDs) for a CRPD resolution was provided by legal scholars during the November hearings. Of the 12 RUDs included in last year’s failed attempt to ratify, only 3 or 4 RUDs need to be reworked.
3. Much of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee CRPD report from last year does not need to be rewritten.
4. Given all this, can Foreign Relations Committee Senators and their staffs focus on getting to a mark up before the holidays? A Senate floor vote?

The answer could be yes, if we let all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee know that is not only our hope but our expectation. Delay is the enemy of momentum. We have momentum, let’s use it and keep it. To not do so is to be overcome by things like budget and debt ceiling issues one again.

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