#COSP16 Day 3 Round-Up – 14 June 2023

The third day of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (#COSP16) saw the action move primarily to UN conference rooms, as the conference agenda shifted toward roundtables and side events.

What does this shift mean? It means a whole lot of networking, learning, and relationship-building with both the Australians at the UN, but also our newfound international friends!

Two people dressed in business casual smiling in a large panelled conference room.
PWDA Senior Manager of Policy Giancarlo de Vera with Paula Tesoriero, NZ’s former disability rights commissioner and now CEO of Whaikaha, NZ’s new Disability Ministry.

DPO Australia delegates were involved in a range of discussions on a wide variety of topics – way too long to list all, but here’s a few to give you a sense:

  • Sexual and reproductive rights for people with disability, including those with diverse sexualities and gender identities
  • Reframing recovery in enduring mental health difficulties
  • Different models of legal capacity and supported decision-making

Learning, reflecting, discussing and exploring a wide range of topics at #COSP16 is a key outcome for DPO delegates attending the conference, providing us an opportunity to critically reflect on ways things can be improved back at home in Australia.

A large projection screen showing a man in a suit speaking while seated at a long desk with microphones.
UK’s Minister for State for Disabled People, Tom Pursglove, speaking at a side event on economic security and poverty reduction held today. The event was co-hosted by the governments of Canada and Singapore, the UK’s Permanent Mission to the UN and the Ford Foundation.

The third day also saw DPO Australia delegates influence the debate happening in the conference. The way delegates do that is through short statements which are known as interventions.

Having an opportunity to speak is heavily influenced by the order of business managed by the Chairperson. This means the speaking order can change at short notice. And there’s the perennial possibility that time gets exhausted. Therefore, going with the flow became the order of business!

DPO Australia delegates had planned to deliver three interventions, but we were only to deliver two – one from People with Disability Australia (PWDA) and another from Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA). However, we worked together, and incorporated key messages from those who weren’t able to speak.

Read PWDA’s intervention here.

Read WWDA’s intervention here.

Read PWDA’s second intervention from PWDA on ensuring sexual and reproductive rights are accessible for people with disability with diverse sexualities and gender identities, that we missed out on the opportunity to deliver here.

A woman in a bright red blouse looking at a laptop and speaking into a microphone at a desk beside a black man in a suit.
WWDA’s Margherita Dall’Occo delivering her intervention at the sexual and reproductive rights roundtable today.

It was a jam-packed day, with a lot of learning, building and strengthening of networks around the world, and critically reflecting on what we can bring back home!

Tomorrow will be quite like today, but we’ve got Australia’s in-person side event as well as PWDA’s joint side event with Queensland for Advocacy for Inclusion – so stay tuned for Day 4’s round-up!