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Burton Blatt Institute, SU College of Law to honor Ambassador Gallegos of Ecuador on first anniversary of U.N. disability convention Dec. 5 in Washington, D.C.
Burton Blatt Institute, SU College of Law to honor Ambassador Gallegos of Ecuador on first anniversary of U.N. disability convention Dec. 5 in Washington, D.C.November 28, 2007Jaime Winne Alvarezjlwinne@syr.edu
On Dec. 5, the Burton Blatt Institute: Centers of Innovation on Disability at Syracuse University (BBI) and the SU College of Law will commemorate the first anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by paying tribute to one of the convention’s leaders, His Excellency Luis Benigno Gallegos Chiriboga, ambassador of Ecuador to the United States.
A private reception and award presentation will be held at 5:30 p.m. at BBI’s Washington, D.C. office, 1667 K St. NW, to publicly thank Gallegos. He will receive the BBI Leadership Award for sustained commitment to the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities worldwide.
Gallegos began his appointment as ambassador of Ecuador to the United States on Oct. 3, 2005. Throughout his foreign service career, which began in 1966, he has been a constant advocate to advance the social, civic and economic participation of people with disabilities worldwide.
In November 2001, the U.N. General Assembly established an ad hoc committee to consider proposals for a convention addressing the rights of persons with disabilities. The action came as a result of many years of advocacy by the disability community for the inclusion of disability in the U.N. human rights legal framework.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was negotiated during eight sessions of the ad hoc committee from 2002-06, making it the fastest-negotiated human rights treaty. Gallegos chaired the committee from 2002-05 and helped forge a consensus within the committee. The convention aims to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy human rights on an equal basis with others.
The convention and its optional protocol were adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on Dec. 13, 2006, and opened for signature on March 20. On March 30, 81 member states and the European community signed the convention, the highest number of signatures of any human rights convention on its opening day. Forty-four member states signed the optional protocol and one member state ratified the convention.
BBI fosters public-private dialogue to advance civic, economic and social participation of persons with disabilities in a global society. BBI takes its name from Burton Blatt (1927-85), a pioneer in humanizing services for people with mental retardation, a staunch advocate of deinstitutionalization and a national leader in special education. For more information, visit http://bbi.syr.edu.