Today, on 20th March, the Permanent Mission of Austria and the International Disability Alliance held, together with the Permanent Missions of Ethiopia, Finland, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and Thailand, supported by the Zero Project, the Essl Foundation and the World Future Council, a successful side event on “Re-engineering society for inclusion: Implementation of the CRPD and other international obligations on accessibility”.

H.E. Thomas Hajnoczi, Ambassador of Austria, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations Office at Geneva introduced and moderated the event, which aimed to highlight obligations on accessibility that are included in the CRPD, but also in other international conventions, as for example the Mine Ban Treaty of 1997. A second goal was to present best practices implementing those obligations.

Among the speakers were: Michael Fembek, Head of the Zero Project, Essl Foundation, who presented the Zero Project’s work and its recent report on accessibility, the Zero Project Report 2014; Firoz Ali Alizada, Campaign Manager, International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), who highlighted the importance of accessibility for victims assistance; Ellen Walker, Human Rights Officer, Intergovernmental Processes, International Disability Alliance (IDA), who spoke about recent promising international developments in the field of accessibility, such as the new guidelines of the International Civic Aviation Organization and the Accessibility Guide of the Human Rights Council; Susan Schorr, Telecommunication Development Bureau, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), who presented the recent work for a ICT accessibility model policy; as well as Krista Orama, Associate Expert, Human Rights and Disability, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), who spoke about how the CRPD enshrined a very innovative legal concept of accesssibility, not only in a specific article, but also as general principle and thus touching upon all rights, which can better support advocacy.

The event took place at the 25th session of the Human Rights Council in Palais des Nations, Geneva, and gathered about 30 representatives of Permanent Missions, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations. Please find here below some photos and our Flyer