UN convention

Countries in the SEE region have been quick to sign and ratify the UNCRPD.

Table below shows the dates of signature and ratification.

Signatories and ratification of the UNCRPD in South Eastern Europe

Country

Signed

Ratified

Albania

Bosnia &  Herzegovina

Croatia

Macedonia

Montenegro

Republic of Moldova

Romania

Serbia

22 Dec 2009

29 Jul 2009

30 Mar 2007

30 Mar 2007

27 Sep 2007

30 Mar 2007

26 Sep 2007

17 Dec 2007

In progress

12 Mar 2010

15 Aug 2007

29 Dec 201

12 Nov 2009

21 Sep 2010

31 Jan 2011

31 Jul 2009

 

Formal ratification and being in compliance are very different things, and economic and social factors will mean that some countries will require a longer period than others to become compliant. Nevertheless, all are obliged to put in place structures that will facilitate the process of compliance, including monitoring progress and enabling the participation of non-governmental actors. Progress in this area might be regarded as an indicator of the level and nature of commitment of governments to the UNCRPD.

The key obligations in this area are (Article 35):

  • •         one or more focal points within government must be established regarding the UNCRPD;
  • •         a coordination mechanism must be established to facilitate actions across different sectors;
  • •         a monitoring mechanism must be established and civil society, in particular persons with disabilities and representative organizations, must participate fully in the process;
  •  •        an initial progress report, on measures taken to fulfil obligations must be submitted to the United Nations within two years of ratification, and thereafter at least every four years.

Overall, the region can be satisfied with the speed of accession to the UNCRPD, and has made reasonable though uneven progress on setting up the structures needed to implement it.  The real challenge still awaits most countries:  taking the difficult decision and prioritising the resources needed to implement it in a concerted, participative and speedy manner. e-Accessibility, as part of that, offers a relatively low-cost area in which significant and rapid progress can be made.