GATINEAU, QC, June 15, 2018 /CNW/ - From June 12 to 14, 2018, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, and the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement represented Canada at the 11th session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New York. The overall theme of the Conference was "Leaving no one behind through the full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities".
During the Conference, Minister Duncan reiterated the Government of Canada's commitment to introduce legislation that will ensure greater accessibility and opportunities for Canadians with disabilities. The proposed legislation builds upon the most inclusive and accessible consultations with Canadians to date, and will be a significant step forward in the Government's ongoing implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In her address to the UN, Minister Duncan also announced that the Government of Canada has published the full Convention and its Optional Protocol in American Sign Language and Langue des signes Québécoise – the two primary forms of sign language used within Canada.
While at the Conference, Minister Duncan attended a number of roundtables and events, and co-hosted a session on disability data with the Honourable Carmel Sepuloni, New Zealand's Minister for Disability Issues, and Ms. Maria Soledad Cisternas, Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility to the United Nations Secretary-General. During the roundtable on women and girls with disabilities, Minister Duncan reaffirmed the Government of Canada's commitment to the empowerment of all women and girls, and the protection and promotion of human rights.
As part of her visit, Minister Qualtrough met with members of the United Nations Procurement Division to discuss the importance of ensuring greater accessibility through procurement and technology. The Minister highlighted the role her two departments, Public Services and Procurement and Shared Services Canada, play in providing accessible programs, services, buildings and technology. Minister Qualtrough, also met with Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and had the opportunity to discuss ways to ensure greater accessibility for Canadians with disabilities.
In recognition of their impressive achievements and leadership within the disability community, Minister Duncan invited three youth leaders to join Canada's official delegation in New York. Nikolas Harris from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Robert Shaw, from Kelowna, British Columbia and Anne-Sophie Verreault from Québec City, Québec, are all accomplished individuals who have demonstrated leadership for people with disabilities in their communities.
The Conference provided an opportunity for the Canadian delegation to exchange best practices and learn from the experiences of other countries, highlight Canada's achievements, and reaffirm the country's commitment toward the full inclusion of Canadians with disabilities.
"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has entrusted me with the mandate to ensure greater accessibility and opportunities for Canadians with disabilities, which includes as one of its top priorities, the development of new accessibility legislation. I am committed to following through on our promise to deliver this legislation and we see it as a significant step forward in our ongoing implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Persons with Disabilities
''Our government is committed to becoming a leader in accessibility. As service providers, builders and buyers, Public Services and Procurement Canada and Shared Services Canada play important roles in ensuring that our Government buildings, technology and services are accessible to both public servants and Canadians.''
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Annabelle Archambault, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, 819-934-1122, TTY: 1-866-702-6967, Annabelle.firstname.lastname@example.org; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, email@example.com