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United Nations

Australian Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, 21 October 2021

UNGA 76 Third Committee

Interactive Dialogue with the Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

21 October 2021

Australian National Statement

Australia thanks the Committee Chair for providing the report of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Australia recognises that persons with disabilities are disproportionately affected by the health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19, and may experience barriers that make it difficult to keep themselves safe from contracting COVID-19 and to access essential health services.

Persons with disabilities are not a homogenous group and due consideration should be given to intersectionality—the intersection of disability together with other factors, for example gender, age, religion or belief, race, or other status, which may heighten discrimination and increase the barriers to full, equal and meaningful participation in society.

Australia’s National Disability Strategy sets out a framework for continuing to improve the lives of persons with disabilities. A new ten-year Strategy (Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031) is expected to be released at the end of 2021.

Article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities commits all States Parties to ensuring that international cooperation, including development programs, are inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities.

Disability inclusion is a crosscutting priority for Australia’s international engagement on human rights, development and humanitarian action, including in our COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

We ask: Can the Committee Chair expand upon the Committee’s efforts to address the multiple and intersecting issues facing persons with disabilities, including as it relates to gender, race and age?

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