Key UN meeting on disability presents Nordic perspectives

15.06.17 | News
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“Acting together in relation to an issue within the UN system is a crucial step in Nordic co-operation on disability. The Nordic perspective and the region’s experiences are both needed and in demand,” says Maria Montefusco from the Nordic Welfare Center and secretary for the Council for Nordic Co-operation on Disability.

This week sees the 10th conference of the state parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) at the UN’s headquarters in New York. The conference focuses on how people with disabilities must be included in society on the basis of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

A Nordic side event is being arranged for the first time.

 A Nordic side event is being arranged for the first time. The event discusses statistics and indicators as tools for the implementation and following up of the convention. As part of its presidency of Nordic co-operation, Norway took the initiative to host the event, which is being organised by the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, and the Nordic Welfare Center.

“The Nordic countries will present their work with statistics in relation to the UN convention and the global goals for sustainable development as part of Agenda 2030. Quite simply, we need more and better statistics in order to see whether our welfare and empowerment efforts are having an effect. The Nordic Welfare Center has recently embarked on a project in this field. This is a key future issue for the whole world,” says Maria. 

The Nordic Region has a lot to teach

 The event was moderated by the World Bank’s expert in disability issues, Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo.

“This event has seen the sharing of a wealth of knowledge and experience from the Nordic Region. It’s been very enlightening. Many countries look to the Nordic Region as a good example and for inspiration. I hope the region will continue to arrange meetings like this,” Charlotte said.

The Nordic countries are already working together in relation to gender equality issues in the UN, meeting each year for joint activities in conjunction with the meeting of state parties to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Maria Montefusco would like to see the same thing for disability.

“I’d like these issues to gain the same political weight as gender equality, and that we can look forward to this event taking place every year,” she says.

Watch the seminar on statistics in full at UN WEB TV: