Minister for Disability Issues to visit the United Nations and Canada

Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni will travel to New York tomorrow to represent New Zealand at the 12th Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

“The annual conference is the largest international gathering dedicated to the rights of persons with disabilities,” Carmel Sepuloni said. 

“New Zealand has a well-established international role in the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, which dates back to New Zealand’s leadership in the negotiation of the CRPD.  

“I will have the opportunity to meet with Ministers and officials from other countries and learn how they are addressing the key disability challenges New Zealand faces.

“Of particular interest is how other countries are dealing with accessibility for disabled people. This is an important issue the Government is working to progress.

“I look forward to sharing our work on this with other countries, as well as insights from other initiatives like consultation on a replacement for the minimum wage exemption, and Mana Whaikaha – the prototype of a transformed disability support system.

Minister Sepuloni will deliver New Zealand’s national statement, co-host an event focussed on enhancing the partnership between governments and civil society in the Pacific region, and speak at an event with the New Zealand Disability Rights Commissioner, Paula Tesoriero, on violence and abuses against disabled people.

She will also be hosting a reception in support of New Zealander Robert Martin, the first person with a learning disability to be elected to serve on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

“Mr Martin’s current term on the Committee comes to an end in 2020. The reception will acknowledge his contribution to advancing the rights of people with disabilities as well as launch his campaign for re-election to the Committee when elections are held in 2020.    

“His commitment to disabled people having choice and control over their lives, and where they live, has progressed disability rights internationally.

“We wish him all the best in his bid for re-election,” Carmel Sepuloni said. 

Following the UN visit, Minister Sepuloni will travel to Ottawa Canada for meetings with Canadian Government Ministers and agencies with a focus on disability. 

Minister Sepuloni will be travelling from 8th – 16th June.