The Disabled People's Organisation (DPO) Coalition delegation has left to attend the 27th Session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Geneva.

The DPO Coalition forms part of the Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM), a group of agencies set up to monitor and report on the Government’s performance implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This group is made up of three independent partners: the Human Rights Commission; the Ombudsman and the DPO Coalition.

The DPO Coalition delegation includes IMM Chairperson Dr Jonathan Godfrey, Rana Aston, Nathan Bond, Leo McIntyre and Kris Roguski. The DPO Coalition delegation will be supported by Lachlan Keating and Lee-Ann Wightman.

IMM Chairperson Dr Jonathan Godfrey, said “The DPO Coalition team will be working hard to give voice to the needs of disabled people by raising issues we work on as an IMM partner. Our continued involvement with Government through the Disability Action Plan a wide range of work programmes will now be under the UN’s spotlight. We will provide the voice of civil society; as disabled people working outside Government to progress the Convention.

"It’s a long eight years since our first examination. We ought to be looking for the UN Committee to provide an external view of what NZ must do to further progress the Convention, especially if it will take anything like another eight years until our next turn rolls around. That might make it a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"At a personal level, this is a huge honour. Much of the work I do for disabled people is done as a volunteer. The delegation has been working diligently over the past few months in preparation for our presentations to the UN”

The sessions will be broadcast on UN TV live from (NZ Time) 1.00am to 4.00am on the 24 August and 8.00pm to 11.00pm on 24 August. NZSL interpreters will be shown on screen as part of the broadcast.

New Zealand IMM delegates include:

DPO Coalition: Jonathan Godfrey (Blind Citizens New Zealand), Nathan Bond (DPA), Leo McIntyre and Rana Aston (Balance Aotearoa), Kris Roguski (People First). Supporting the coalition are Lachlan Keating (Deaf Aotearoa) and Lee Ann Wightman (People First).
Human Rights Commission: Esther Woodbury and Frances Anderson
Office of the Ombudsman: Alex Schroder and Olivia Soesbergen.
IMM: Tristram Ingham (Muscular Dystrophy Association) will be joining remotely to speak on behalf of the IMM to talk about Tangata Whaikaha Māori.

See also: IMM report: Disability Rights: How is New Zealand doing | Ngā Motika Hauātanga: Kei te pēhea a Aotearoa?