Finland as President of session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Finland will chair the session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 15–17 June 2021. Representatives from more than 180 countries are expected to attend the Conference, which will be held both virtually and at the UN headquarters in New York. A large number of representatives of civil society organisations and UN agencies, dedicated to promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, will also attend the Conference. Finland’s delegation will be led by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted in 2006 and it has currently 182 parties. Finland ratified the Convention in 2016. The States Parties meet annually in New York to discuss the implementation of the obligations laid down in the CRPD and other topical questions. Finland is President of the 14th Conference of States Parties (COSP14). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the session will be held in a hybrid format, that is, partly in New York, partly online.

The COSP has become a significant annual event where the rights of persons with disabilities are discussed. It is attended by not only states but also by a large number of non-governmental/civil society organisations that promote the rights of persons with disabilities. The realisation of the rights of persons with disabilities is among the priorities of Finland's human rights policy and a cross-cutting goal of development policy.

All of the central ministries are represented in Finland's delegation, which will be led by Foreign Minister Haavisto. Every year, the Finnish delegation selects a representative of organisations for persons with disabilities to attend the COSP. 

The main theme of the COSP14 will be recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in a manner that takes into account persons with disabilities. Other themes on the session’s agenda are protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies; living Independently, being included in the community; and right to education, challenges with inclusive education and accessibility during COVID-19.
Additionally, there will be dozens of side events discussing the rights of persons with disabilities. In side events organised by Finland, speakers include Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru and Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen.

The meeting is webcast live on the UN Web TV Channel at webtv.un.org. The side events can also be followed online.

Inquiries: Mia Spolander, Legal Officer, Unit for Human Rights Courts and Conventions, tel. +358 295 350 666 and Petri Puhakka, Ambassador for Disability Inclusion, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, tel. +358 295 350 332.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi