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Australian re-elected to UN Disabilities Committee



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ATTORN EY-GEN ERAL HON ROBERT McCLELLAN D MP AN D MIN ISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AN D TRAD E

HON STEPHEN SMITH MP AN D

PARLIAMEN TARY SECRETARY FOR D ISABILITIES HON BILL SHORTEN MP

JOIN T MED IA RELEASE

Parliam ent H ou se, Canberra ACT 2600 • Telep hone (02) 6277 7300 • Fax (02) 6273 4102

2 September 2010

AUSTRALIAN RE-ELECTED TO UN DISABILITIES COMMITTEE

The Australian Government today congratulated Professor Ron McCallum AO on his re-election to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Professor McCallum is a leading Australian legal academic and was elected as a representative to the Committee in November 2008, the only Australian currently on a United Nations treaty body.

He is the first totally blind person to become a full professor at an Australian university and has served as Dean of the Law School at Sydney University.

In March 2009, Professor McCallum was appointed as the inaugural General Rapporteur with responsibility for reporting to the UN General Assembly on the recommendations and activities of the Committee. In October last year, Professor McCallum was also elected as the 2010 Chair of the Committee.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has three principal functions, including:

 reviewing the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;  considering complaints under the Optional Protocol to the Convention; and  inquiring into grave and systematic violations of the Convention.

Australia was one of the first Western countries to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.

The Australian Government believes that protecting and enforcing the rights of people with a disability is a crucial part of ensuring they are treated as equal citizens and included in our society.

Professor McCallum’s appointment complements Australia’s ongoing commitment to uphold and protect the rights of people with disabilities and to ensure they are treated with dignity and respect.

The Government is confident that Professor McCallum will continue to make a valuable and significant contribution in this important role.

Attorney General News Release 2

Professor McCallum’s re-election was supported by the Opposition during the caretaker period.

Media Contact: Adam Siddique 0407 473 630