What’s going on during COSP17? – Global issues


They are meeting at the largest global meeting focused on the rights of persons with disabilities, known as the 17th Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, or COSP17, which runs from June 11 to 13.

Their goal is to ensure that countries keep their word and guarantee equality for all.

AI to war zones: this is on the agenda

UN Member States and NGOs may present report cards on challenges and success stories and offer new ways to remove remaining barriers so that people with disabilities can fully enjoy all rights.

Since the treaty’s adoption in 2008, COSP has met annually to monitor the implementation of the landmark treaty signed by 191 UN member states.

These years agenda includes three roundtable discussions on current issues that will contribute to the Future Summit in September. They focus on international cooperation on humanitarian emergencies, decent jobs and sustainable livelihoods and technological innovations for an inclusive future.

Digital transformation

Artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools can scan websites, mobile apps and other digital content to identify accessibility issues and make remediation recommendations, helping developers and content creators ensure their products are accessible to persons with disabilities upgrades.

And that’s just AI. The potential of digital transformation for people with disabilities is well known and widespread, says Heba Hagrass, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.

That innovation potential includes the availability of resources, including education and access to employment, healthcare, personalized support systems and information and communication tools.

“Digital transformation can be used to help realize the paradigm shift brought about by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, restoring the voice, control and choice of persons with disabilities as active members of their communities “, she said.

COSP17 will do that focus on efforts promoting technological innovations and transfer towards the social inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities, from classrooms to the workplace.

Check out some innovations at the recent AI for Global Good Summit:

Building inclusive labor markets

Entering the job market can be an enormous challenge.

Eighty percent of the world’s people with disabilities live in developing countries, and the rights to decent work and sustainable livelihoods are well recognized in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other key internationally agreed development instruments such as the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Currently, the global jobs report shows mixed progress. While there are new laws alongside national networks for businesses and the disabled in countries such as Argentina, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Uruguay, more needs to be done.

That is why COSP17 has been instituted presenting a range of solutions based on proven efforts where more and more people with disabilities contribute to their families, society and development efforts in countries around the world.

Humanitarian emergencies

What happens when you can’t hear the bombs in a war zone or move your wheelchair to evacuate after a flood?

In situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies, such as armed conflicts, natural and climate disasters and health emergencies, people with disabilities are too often left behind in planning preparedness, response and recovery efforts.

In fact, more than a dozen Council for Human Rights-appointed experts issued a joint warning rack about the current crisis in Gaza that “persons with disabilities are at greater risk of communicable diseases, malnutrition and death, all of which are becoming increasingly likely as Gaza’s civilian infrastructure collapses.”

COSP17 will focus on this new innovative efforts that work and challenges and solutions, from climate-related disasters to conflicts, that can move the Summit of the Future forward towards more inclusive societies.

Eight-year-old Hanaa, who was paralyzed by an exploding bomb and lost the use of her legs, sits in her wheelchair near her home in East Aleppo City, Syria.  (file)

© UNICEF/Khudr Al-Issa

Eight-year-old Hanaa, who was paralyzed by an exploding bomb and lost the use of her legs, sits in her wheelchair near her home in East Aleppo City, Syria. (file)

Making history at COSP17: Live blog takeover

The first ever UN news The live blog takeover by a guest editor will take place on June 11, when people from around the world will gather at UN Headquarters to participate in the largest global meeting on issues affecting people with disabilities.

During the opening session of COSP17, the live page will be moderated by guest editor Nick Herd, an activist, actor, talk show host and COSP17 delegate from L’ Arche Canada, an NGO part of a network of 160 communities in 37 countries for people with an intellectual disability.

From delegate at COSP16 to takeover UN newsIn his live blog at this year’s COSP17, the Down syndrome advocate will provide valuable insights into the ongoing dialogue around disability rights and inclusive communities. He will also interview delegates and changemakers from around the world to find out how best to advance inclusivity in technology, jobs and aid efforts in times of war and climate disaster. His mission is to amplify voices and create change.

The blog will go live on June 11 at 8am. Stay up to date with UN news hereand follow the hashtag #COSP17 on social media.

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