The Minister of State for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath T.D., today welcomed the decision of Dáil Éireann to approve the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD)

“Today marks a key moment, not only for people living with a disability, but also for their families, friends and support networks and for Irish society generally. Today we have seen all parties come together to demonstrate a shared commitment to the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities by approving the terms of the Convention” said the Minister.

The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

The next step will be for the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to sign the instrument of ratification and arrange for it to be deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations. The Convention enters into force for Ireland 30 days thereafter.

Minister McGrath paid tribute to the committed family members, carers, public representatives and activists who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the voices of persons with disabilities are heard so that they can take up their rightful place as visible and active members of our society.

“Ratification of the Convention was a key commitment in the Programme for Government and has been one of the highest of priorities for me since becoming Minister. I am very pleased to now be able to deliver on that commitment.

Becoming parties to the Convention provides a focus and structure to our journey, reaffirms our aspiration to improve the lives of persons with Disabilities in Ireland and holds us to account in our commitments.

It rebalances the right of people with disabilities to make decisions for themselves, rather than have decisions made for them. With ratification soon to be in place, I can now focus on using the Convention to better equip and resource people with disabilities to improve their quality of life.”