The Conference of States Parties under the new United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held its first meetings on Friday 31st October and Monday 3rd November.
This body was set up under Article 40 of the convention and has the power to "consider any matter with regard to the implementation of the convention". It will hopefully become an engine of change in its own right by fostering the exchange of best practice.
On the 31st October an expert panel was convened to discuss the convention and especially its relationship to the Millennium Development Goals. There was wide consensus in the debate that followed among States that the relationship between poverty reduction and the convention was vital. I gave a presentation on the panel entitled 'The CRPD as an Engine of Law Reform' which looked more to domestic implementation and monitoring. My paper will be on our website shortly.
Also, the New Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the new treaty monitoring body) was elected on Monday 3rd November. This is a very exciting new development. Full details are available at: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1443