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Message from the Chair


Dear Members and colleagues,

When you are reading this I will be in New York at the 12th session of the UN Council of States Parties (COSP12) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It is hard to believe that it is over a decade since the CRPD came into force on 3 May 2008 when the 20th nation signed up to the convention. My trip to the United Nations Headquarters is courtesy of the Department of Social Services through their grant program that supports people with disabilities to participate in international forums. I am actually sponsored for my role as a director of Rights & Inclusion Australia rather than as Chair of WWDACT. I am very grateful and honoured to get this opportunity too.

COSP12 will be attended by government officials and representatives from civil society in the 177 countries which are currently Party to the CRPD. There will be about 25 people in the Australian delegation alone, and more than 1400 people overall.

COSP12 has an overarching theme to ensure that implementation of the CRPD enables inclusion of everyone with disabilities in a changing world. In addition, there will be three sub-themes. The first focuses on Digitization and Technology, the second on social inclusion and health, and the third on inclusion through access to sport, culture, leisure and recreation on an equal basis with others. Each of these themes will discuss how to raise awareness of the issues.

Organisationally, COSP12 will be run in a series of plenary sessions along with about 80 concurrent sessions. The program starts at 0815 and goes until well after 1800 on most days. Follow me at COSP12 on @Right&InclusionAus and at #COSP12.

While I am away there plenty of disability action here. If you want to have a say in the development of the National Disability Strategy beyond 2020, there is an opportunity coming up in the form of an online forum held over several days with four different topics to be covered. The moderated online forum will be held 17-21 June 2019 and will discuss the following topics: Human rights and being equal; Inclusion in all community life; Independence and wellbeing, and Emerging areas. To register for the online forum please go to DSS Engage.

WWDACT CEO, Clare Moore has attended budget meetings during the days since the ACT budget was handed down. You can read her summary here. Thanks, Clare.

Regards, Sue