Explanation of Position on a Third Committee Resolution on Persons with Disabilities

Sofija Korac
ECOSOC Advisor
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 15, 2018


The United States thanks the Philippines and Tanzania for its resolution on persons with disabilities.

We are pleased with the Secretary-General’s decision to conduct an institutional review of the UN’s current approach to disability across its operations. This will inform the preparation of an internal policy and action plan to strengthen the ability of the UN system to address the needs of individuals with disabilities as it conducts its business.

We are also pleased that the resolution no longer places great emphasis on the World Program of Action for Persons with Disabilities. It is important that the international community promote the rights of persons with disabilities from a human rights perspective, rather than from the outdated charity and medical model.

We note our view that preambular paragraph 18 should refer to a “commitment” on the part of member states “to achieve the full application and implementation of the international normative framework on persons with disabilities, human rights and development” rather than a “duty.”

We fully support its call for access to education by ensuring that no individual, solely by reason her or his disability, is subjected to discrimination in access, participation, or benefits regarding applicable programs and activities. We note that in the United States decisions regarding curricular and other education polices, materials, and programs, are made as appropriate and consistent without respective federal, state, and local authorities.