Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes the Disabilities Treaty

The United States has signed but not yet ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a text adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 13, 2006 and signed by the United States on June 30, 2006. 

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the "Disabilities Treaty" this week by a vote of 12 to 6. The treaty can now go to the full Senate for its consent, which requires a special 2/3 vote. (The Disabilities Treaty failed in an earlier Senate vote in 2012.)

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the Senate Committee passed the Disabilities Treaty:

“One hundred forty six nations and the European Union have ratified the Disabilities Treaty, but it will require American leadership to ensure the treaty’s protections become a reality. The treaty embodies the highest of American standards. From the U.S. Constitution, it borrows principles of equality and the protection of minorities. From the Declaration of Independence, it reflects the unalienable right to pursue happiness. From the Americans with Disabilities Act and other landmark accessibility laws, the treaty enshrines the concept of reasonable accommodation. When we lead, the world follows, and only the United States can show the way in raising worldwide accessibility to the American standard. The Disabilities Treaty is essential to improving the lives of over 1 billion people around the globe with disabilities, as well as the 58 million Americans with disabilities right here at home, including 5.5 million disabled American veterans. This treaty should be ratified and I will continue to work with Democrats and Republicans to achieve this worthwhile and meaningful goal.”

Click here for a copy of the treaty text.

Click here for the package of documents transmitted by the U.S. State Department to the U.S. Senate.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

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