Today was also the last day of the Conference of States Parties (COSP). The major attraction for the delegates at the COSP was the Informal Panel: Youth with disability.
The panel was chaired by Maryanne Diamond and the youth presenters were:
In the afternoon, our delegation hosted a side event which focused on barriers and opportunities for strengthening young leaders with disability. The side event involved each Australian youth delegate speaking for about five minutes about our own experiences and what we think governments and civil society should do to support leadership of young people with disability.
IMAGES: Australian NGO Youth Delegates presenting at side event
The main issues and themes that were raised included:
- The importance of inclusive education and employment opportunities;
- Self-advocacy, peer support and mentoring;
- Choice and making one’s own decisions, even bad decisions and learning from mistakes;
- Control over one’s own body and reproductive rights;
- Developing your own identity and your own life; and
- Outreach programs and support in rural and remote areas.
We were really pleased that our side event was attended by the Australian Government Delegation. There were also representatives from a range of government and non-government organisations, who asked us questions and showed a great interest in the topics covered in our presentations.
A representative from the South African government who worked in the area of youth stated that our side event was the best session she had attended during the COSP.
Later in the afternoon, we had a brief meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur on Disability
, Mr Shauib Chalklen who spoke about his role in promoting and monitoring the implementation of the CRPD. In the evening we attended a reception conducted by the youth training team at UNICEF
Sadly, this was the last day of work for the Australian NGO Youth Delegation and we returned to Australia on Friday 14 June very pleased with our productive week at the COSP.
On behalf of the Australian NGO Youth Delegation