WFDYS president Jenny Nilsson attended the Fifth Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at the UN headquarters in New York, USA together with WFD delegation. Here shows the several videos from the week.

1st DAY – WFD President Colin Allen and WFDYS President Jenny Nilsson, summarize the outcomes of their attendance at meetings held in New York during the last three days of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) Pre-Conference and Civil Society Forum. The meeting discussed IDA 3 year strategy plan and developed IDA new statues and internal rules. WFDYS stressed the importance to see young people with disabilities represented among the 12 IDA member organizations. WFDYS discussed the proposal to see the youth organizations invited to IDA meetings in the future and a possible co-cooperation between the youth organizations to ensure youth involvement at UN level.

2nd DAY – WFD Joseph Murray explains todays Civil Society Forum, which comprises government representatives from the United Nations, along with Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs), Deaf People’s Organizations and Human Rights Organizations. Its purpose is to discuss issues relating to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). WFD made a presentation about the status of different sign languages at a national level and views on how to strengthen their status. Murray shared insights from a 2011 WFD-EUD Conference held at Ål Experiential College in Ål, Norway, on the theme of ‘Sign Languages as Endangered Languages’. Murray emphasized the importance of promoting greater public awareness of sign languages amongst governments and the public.

3rd DAY – Today started the COSP WFD and WFDYS attended the meeting along with deaf people from six different countries – Japan, Italy, Thailand, Hungary, Nigeria and the US. The interesting part of this morning session is the elections for members of the CRPD committee. Dr László Gábor Lovázy from Hungary, who is hard of hearing, was elected to the Committee. He is the first hard of hearing candidate in this important position. WFDYS president Jenny attended a press conference with Member of European Parliament Dr Adam Kosa there the importance of deaf children being taught in signing environments is raised.

4th DAY – Today is a huge day for the WFDYS. Jenny sat at a round table event on Children with Disabilities and presented a statement on COSP’s commitment to involving young people in decision-making and emphasized that deaf children have the right to be educated in their native language, sign language. It was agreed that children and young people would be included in next year’s high-level meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development. In the afternoon, Dr Adam Kosa chaired the informal session on Women with Disabilities. It was encouraging to see the use of sign language at United Nations sessions.Later in the afternoon WFD President, Colin Allen, and WFDYS President, Jenny Nilsson, were invited to one of the side-events, entitled Early Childhood Development and Disability. This event was organised by UNICEF and WHO.

5th DAY – The WFD President summarize the week. He was delighted to attend the meeting with Jenny Nilsson and Joseph Murray. The three of them represented deaf people across the world, WFD and WFDYS, alongside a small group of other deaf people from different countries. Mr Allen would like to see more deaf people at future COSP meetings and stressed that deaf people need to talk with their national associations and governments to ensure their participation at these meetings. Why is it important for deaf people to be involved? Deaf people as government delegates can share good practice and challenges in the implementation of the Convention at UN meetings. It would also help the WFD to be aware of good work being done by different countries with the UNCRPD.

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