UNESCO will be hosting the 8th meeting of the UN Inter-Agency Support Group for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (IASG) at its Headquarters in Paris from 25 to 26 November 2013. IASG, which has two chairs - the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR) - and one yearly co-rotating chair, has also previously been ensured by UNICEF, ILO, the World Bank and other Agencies.
IASG, composed of all UN Agencies, was created to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and covers a diverse range of activities and initiatives related to disability issues. The IASG meeting is, therefore, intended to sustain a dialogue between different UN bodies working in this area in order to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to protect the rights of persons with disabilities.
Among the items to be discussed in Paris will be a debate on the implementation of the Outcome Document of the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Realization of the Millennium Development Goals for Persons with Disabilities, which took place during the UN General Assembly meeting on 23 September 2013. The IASG meeting will thus be instrumental to carving out the vital role that disability-inclusive development will play in the post-2015 development agenda.
The first day of debates will consist of a closed internal meeting only to enable technical discussion between UN Agencies. The second day will be an open discussion that will involve non-governmental organizations and disabled people organizations working on issues related to disability. The second day will also include a thematic workshop in the areas of inclusive education; access to information and knowledge; ICT accessibility and disaster preparedness and response; as well as social inclusion and internal disability policies and practices.
UNESCO promotes the rights of persons with disabilities to access information and knowledge using ICTs as their inclusion stands at the heart of UNESCO’s work. The brochure, New Avenues for Empowerment: Access to Information and Knowledge for Persons with Disabilities, provides more information about UNESCO’s work in this area.