150th country signs UN disability treaty

150th Nation Ratifies Treaty
150th Nation Ratifies Treaty

Guyana ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on September 15, becoming the 150th country to ratify the landmark treaty.

“The 150th ratification is evidence of the commitment by the international community to promote and protect the human rights of persons with disabilities,” said Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which oversees the treaty’s implementation, in a United Nations news release. “This Convention, in force for just six years, has been ratified across all regions and cultures, and is on the way to becoming universally recognised.

“We call on those states still to ratify to do so.”

The UN General Assembly approved the treaty, modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act, in 2006 and it went into force in 2008.

President Obama signed the treaty in 2009, but it has not been ratified. In 2012, 61 senators voted in favor of ratifying the treaty, falling short of the required two-thirds threshold.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-6 in support of the treaty on July 22, paving the way for another vote by the full Senate, possibly this fall.