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Statement by Mr. Marián HOŠEK, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic

High Level Dialogue "From vision to action: the road to implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities"

Statement by

Mr. Marián HOŠEK, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic

High Level Dialogue "From vision to action: the road to implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities"

New York, March 30, 2007


Mr. Chairman,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Czech Republic, I wish to join my voice with those welcoming the opening to signature of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.

The new Convention is a significant step forward in the promotion and protection of human rights and we are convinced that the Convention will become an important tool promoting respect for the dignity of persons with disabilities and enabling them to enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms without discrimination.

For the United Nations, and particularly for the international disability community, the Convention is the culmination of work that started many years ago. This document now takes its place among the fundamental instruments of international law and with its standards of inclusion fills an important gap in international law.

The Czech Republic is very pleased to have contributed to the development of this new international human rights instrument through its active participation in the Ad Hoc Committee and its Bureau. We are proud to inform all of you that we signed both the documents today and will do our utmost to ratify them in the near future.

We highly appreciate the sustained efforts made by all parties in negotiations during the last four years. This is a success for all UN member states and we are very happy that also the European Union contributed substantially to this valuable outcome.

Allow me to congratulate further the members of the Bureau of the Ad Hoc Committee, and to express a special appreciation to the Committee's Chairman, Ambassador McKay, for his wise guidance and his dedication.

We also would like to thank persons with disabilities, who, through their representative organizations, have made a great contribution to this process by offering their experience, views and perspectives on ways to move ahead. We very much believe that the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will soon start functioning with the same openness to civil society and the same dedication to the substance as the Ad Hoc Committee did.

Mr. Chairman,

The opening to signature of the new Convention is a remarkable achievement, but it is only a beginning.

From now on we must build on the momentum achieved to ensure that both the documents enter into force as soon as possible and their implementation will make a real difference to the quality of life of millions of people with disabilities around the world, along with their families and along with all of us, the communities in which they live and work.

Thank you.