Speaking Out At The UN
I received a really exciting email today from Brent Morgan, the International Director of The Leprosy Mission. I wanted to share it with you as an example of the kind of powerful advocacy on behalf of people affected by leprosy that you make possible by your Gifts, Actions and Prayers. Please join me in praying for long-lasting impact of these meetings at the UN.
Last week, Amar Timalsina (Global Fellowship Board), Pradeep Bagival (Head of Advocacy) and I attended the 11th UN Conference of State Parties (CoSP) in New York. The conference had a specific focus on implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The purpose of our attendance was twofold;
- To raise TLM’s profile
- Specifically request the CoSP/CRPD to ask the 21 leprosy burdened countries (as identified by the WHO), who are also signatories to the CRPD, the specific steps they are taking to eliminate discrimination against person affected by leprosy.
There were three activities we were involved in while at the conference;
- I was a panel speaker and took part in a panel discussion on a specific clause of the CRPD at the Civil Society Forum.
- We ran a side event in conjunction with Disabled Peoples’ International on addressing human rights of persons with disabilities using the CRPD framework. We also participated in key side events run by the World Bank, DiFD, The Commonwealth Secretariat, and Government of India.
- I presented our request (detailed above) to the CoSP assembly of 178 member states.
Amar, Pradeep and I count it a privilege that we were able to participate at this conference on behalf of TLM and persons affected by leprosy. It is the first time this has happened at the UN Conference of State Parties. We are very new to speaking and advocating at this level and there is much for us to learn. However it was a wonderful opportunity to build new relationships and develop TLM’s profile. Thank you for praying for us while we were in New York. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pradeep for his excellent work in developing this opportunity for us to participate and speak in New York – well done Pradeep!