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EU Human Rights Resolution has strong disability rights focus: Ms Donald

24 February, 2005

Speaking after a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today, Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald MEP welcomed the passing of a cross party resolution on human rights. The motion, which Sinn Féin supported, called for more action on tackling human rights abuses.

Ms McDonald said;

"Sinn Féin was delighted to support this cross party resolution dealing with a broad range of human rights. Particularly we welcomed the focus on people with disabilities and the need for a rights based approach to tackling discrimination.

"Today's motion reaffirms the EUs commitment to respecting, promoting and safeguarding the universality of human rights. The motion also reaffirms the need for strengthened consultation, cooperation and coordination between the EU and the UN, in particular the UNCHR.

"It is crucial that that the EU plays a full and positive role in the UN Commission on Human Rights;

"The motion also supported moves towards a new International Convention on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities and encouraged the European Council and Commission to play a leading role achieving a comprehensive Convention at the earliest opportunity. This would ensure equal and effective enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities throughout the world.

"It is important that the EU Presidency takes into account the resolution adopted by Parliament on the UN Convention when representing the EU in the negotiations within the UN ad hoc committee responsible for drafting the UN Convention. This must also be accompanied by meaningful dialogue with the representative disabled people's organisations.

"Such measures would ensure that the question of disability rights is placed at the centre of the EU human rights agenda. It is also crucial that member states, and in particular the Irish government adopt a similar rights approach if the reality of discrimination facing people with disabilities is to be seriously addressed." ENDS

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