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Senators Support Ratification of Disability TreatySeven Senators have announced their support for U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The purpose of the Convention is to improve accessibility and the quality of life for persons with disabilities worldwide. It also will assist Americans in the barriers they face "when they travel, work, serve, study, and reside in other countries."
It was negotiated and approved in 2006, under President George W. Bush. The treaty was signed for the United States by President Barack Obama in 2009. Three years later, earlier this month, Obama sent the treaty to the Senate asking them to ratify it. The executive administration can only negotiate treaties, the Senate must give it final approval.
Obama said in the request, "The rights of Americans with disabilities should not end at our nation's shores. Ratification of the disabilities convention by the United States would position the United States to occupy the global leadership role to which our domestic record already attests."
The convention already has 153 signatures and 112 ratifications, according to the UN. It is important for the US to quickly complete this process before September when a committee is established by the United Nations (UN). If the Convention is not ratified by then the U.S. will not be able to participate in the CRPD Conference of States Parties nor appoint a committee member.
U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tom Harkin (D-IA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Tom Udall (D-NM) announced their support for the conventions ratification in a Press Releas on Friday. The bipartisan group of senators are the first to announce their support.
"America has long been a global leader in recognizing and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, and ratification of this convention is an essential step to ensuring disabled persons are protected globally," Senator Chris Coons said. "All people deserve to be granted full and equal basic human rights, regardless of their physical or mental capabilities. I strongly support ratification of this critical treaty, and urge my colleagues to do the same."