Statement on a Third Committee Resolution on Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol

Dylan Lang
U.S. Adviser for the Third Committee
New York, New York
November 14, 2023


Thank you Chair.

We would like to thank Mexico and New Zealand for facilitating this critical resolution, and especially on this year’s critical topic of Article 11 of the CRPD. It is important we consider persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including armed conflicts and humanitarian crises, especially ahead of next year’s five year anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 2475. To this end, we were disappointed that a very small number of delegations blocked direct references to this critical resolution, especially when the legally binding resolution is meant to be implemented across the UN, including the GA.

We were also pleased to see a specific reference to ensuring persons with disabilities can access sexual and reproductive health services during situations of risk, in line with Article 25 of the CRPD. While my delegation would have preferred to see the more ambitious reference to sexual and reproductive health and rights, we were pleased to see this critical issue addressed. The world is still recovering from COVID, and, unfortunately we are still in the midst of the “shadow pandemic”, where women and girls with disabilities experience higher rates of sexual- and gender-based violence, especially in situations of risk. They also experience additional physical and attitudinal barriers in accessing SRH services due to different types of disabilities, and the inherent misconception that persons with disabilities are not sexual. We look forward to expanding on this reference in future relevant resolutions, especially in light of the CRPD’s findings during the dedicated session on SRH this year.

In addition, the United States understands references to the right to privacy to refer to those protections provided under Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and confirms the importance of respect for applicable data protection laws and regulations.

With regard to this resolution’s references to reaffirmation of international instruments to which the United States is not a Party and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, among other issues, we refer you to our general statement. We emphasize that nothing in this resolution changes the content or obligations of states parties under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Finally, the United States calls on other countries to redouble their efforts and join us in continuing the positive work to recognize the role of persons with disabilities in humanitarian emergencies.

Thank you, Chair.