FSM ratifies the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilty


Persons with disabilities are entitled to be full and equal members of society, to live in dignity, to control their own lives, and to make their own choices. In fact, these values are not far from our own national Constitution, which upholds a range of rights including freedom from discrimination, and acknowledges that, just as “The seas bring us together, they do not separate us” and “Our island nation enlarges us and makes us stronger”; so too, “Our differences enrich us.” The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or CRPD represents a radical transformation in the way we look at disability and those with physical, sensory or mental impairments. Importantly, we understand that there are challenges that arise from the social prejudices and other environmental barriers. It demands that we recognize that persons with disabilities have inalienable rights like everyone else; that they are part of the rich mosaic of humanity and human diversity; and that there is value in difference.
The FSM took and important first step towards ratifying the Convention nearly five years ago. In the September 2016 Regular Session, the 19th FSM Congress ratified the convention with an overwhelming mandate from all four states following the passing of resolutions in support of ratification.
Article 32 of the CRPD states that there are international donors who will support CRPD ratified nations financially through grants and other means. This means that a new door will be opened for support for persons with disabilities. The biggest concern from the FSM is that it will be the most expensive treaty of all, but that’s not true. The States will need to gradually make improvements using their available resources.
The function of the CRPD is to open people’s eyes, ears, and hearts, to educate them and spread awareness. The FSM will need to begin placing significance on the accessibilityof disabled persons to all public areas such as wheel chair ramps and elevators.
The CRPD ratification is such an important step for the people of the FSM as it shows that the people and its leaders put significance in the well being of everyone, including disabled persons.