Conference of States Parties (COSP17)

Voice of Specially Abled People (VOSAP), a US-based advocacy organization with ‘Special Consultative Status’ with the UN ECOSOC and a accredited proud member of the UN CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities), is excited to share key takeaways of the 17th session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP17) to the CRPD. This significant event commenced on 11 June 2024 and will ran through 13 June 2024.

The 17th session focuses on the critical theme: “Rethinking disability inclusion in the current international juncture and ahead of the Summit of the Future.” This conference presents a vital platform for reflecting on experiences, sharing lessons learned, and identifying existing gaps in the implementation of the CRPD and the 2030 SDG Agenda. Through collaborative efforts and sharing among global leaders, VOSAP aims to enhance disability inclusion, strengthen policies, and improve practices on the ground.

In the General Assembly Hall, President Tarek Ladeb underscored the importance of this conference, highlighting the opportunity it offers to collectively address and bridge the gaps in implementing the convention. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed echoed these sentiments, recognizing the significant progress made since the CRPD’s adoption 18 years ago, but also emphasizing the need for continued action to achieve tangible results. She pointed out critical gaps in technology, humanitarian emergencies, and employment that need urgent attention.

Dennis Francis, President of the UN General Assembly, in his video message, brought attention to the 1.3 billion people with disabilities worldwide who face disproportionate levels of poverty, marginalization, and discrimination. He specifically noted the heightened vulnerability of women and girls with disabilities, while also celebrating the inspiring achievements of individuals with disabilities who continue to overcome barriers and reach their full potential. He emphasized that “Nothing about us, without us”.

The session features statements from numerous Ambassadors, representatives of Civil Societies, Organizations, and delegates on various themes and sub-themes, all of which are accessible here.

This year’s COSP is particularly notable as it includes the first-ever guest editor for the UN News live page. Activist, actor, and talk show host Nick Herd led the UN News team for the opening day, bringing a fresh and engaging perspective to the event’s coverage.

VOSAP is honored to be accredited to the CRPD and has actively contributed to the UN with eight statements since 2019 on various critical topics. We leverage technology to scale our impact, developing digital tools to promote accessibility, inclusion, and assistive technology. 

Our initiatives include international hackathons to foster innovation in assistive technologies and Project HITARTH, which facilitates access to government benefits for individuals with intellectual disabilities in India under the Niramaya scheme. Additionally, we are committed to making assistive devices affordable by subsidizing them for Specially Abled People.

Join us in promoting and supporting this transformative global community at UN CRPD as we collectively work towards a more inclusive future for all.

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