New York 18 July 2013
Statement by Mrs. Dragana Anđelić Charge d'Affaires Deputy Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations at the 6th Session of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Thank you Mr. President,
My delegation congratulates you and the other members of the Bureau of the 6th Session of the Conference of State Parties on your election and we assure you of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s full support during this session.
The promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities remains of the utmost importance to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We welcome positive developments regarding the advancement of the global disability agenda in the framework of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the CRPD) and Optional Protocol, on 12th of March 2010 (without reservations or statements). The competent state institutions prepared and submitted the Initial Report on implementation of the Convention in accordance with the Guidelines of the UN Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We would like to emphasize that the civil society sector participated in the preparation of this important report as well.
In 2003 the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed the Decision on Adoption of the UN Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.
Aiming to improve the mechanism for protection of human rights of the persons with disabilities and the system of coordination between the responsible institutions on the State level, the CoMBH in 2010 passed the decision to establish the Council of Persons with Disabilities. This Council consists of 20 members with a 4 year mandate. The Council was actively involved in the drafting of the above mentioned Initial report.
In view of strengthening social inclusion of all persons with disabilities, we additionally adopted in 2008 the document “Disability policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
In terms of legislative action, equality has been additionally secured by passing of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, which, in one place, contains non-discriminatory provisions that were placed in different laws prior to its passing. Therefore, a discriminated person can protect and exercise his/her own rights through the judicial system.
We are continuing with the efforts to fully ensure the protection of social, economic, cultural, political and civil rights of persons with disabilities. Baring all this in mind, we would like to emphasize that we have identified the need to provide active participation in the work of political parties, in political life and decision-making processes at all levels, from local to state authority. Specific encouragement is given to the organizations of persons with disabilities to participate in public debates related to documents of importance for all citizens.
Also, persons with disabilities in BH have received recognition in sports activities; this is best seen from the fact that persons with disabilities are present in all contests for the best athlete. In addition, it is significant to mention that BH has a Paralympics Committee, Special Olympics BH and other forms of sport organizations for persons with disabilities.
Having in mind that the needs for equality and interests of the persons with disabilities were not a part of the Millennium Development Goals, we must not fail again. Therefore, Bosnia and Herzegovina echoes (supports) the requests to mainstream disability into the post-2015 development agenda.
We look forward to the forthcoming High-Level meeting of the General Assembly on the realization of the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities and we hope that the Heads of State and Government will reaffirm the commitment of the international community thought the adoption of an action-oriented outcome document.
In conclusion, Mr. President, allow me to confirm once again my country’s determination to ensure full enjoyment of all rights of persons with disabilities, their economic empowerment and full inclusion in all aspects of the society.