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G3ict at the 16th Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP16)

Start Date: June 13, 2023

End Date: June 15, 2023

Location: New York

Venue: United Nations Headquarters


G3ict logo with the UN COSP15 banner Text Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

The 16th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is scheduled to take place at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York, from June 13 to 15, 2023.

The over-arching theme of the 16th Session is "Harmonizing national policies and strategies with the CRPD: achievements and challenges."

Sub-themes include:

  • Sub theme 1: Ensuring equal access to and accessibility of sexual and reproductive health services for persons with disabilities.
  • Sub theme 2: Digital accessibility for persons with disabilities.
  • Sub theme 3: Reaching the under-represented groups of persons with disabilities.

Visit the UNDESA website for more details.

As an ECOSOC and COSP-accredited organization, G3ict will organize, co-host or participate in the following events:

  • Pre-event: On April 19, Mr. Mohammed A. Loutfy, Director Capacity Building and Advocacy, G3ict, participated in a Training Session on Accessibility and Disability Awareness at the United Nations (UN). The training was tailored for delegates of Member States, observers of the General Assembly and representatives of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC, in an informal conversation on the human dimension of inclusion, with presentations of good practices, etiquette and communication and protocols.

COSP16 Civil Society Forum

Monday, 12 June, from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM ET (US & Canada):

COSP Civil Society Coordination Mechanism, Conference Room 4 (In person)

Under the auspices of the 16th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN CRPD, the 2023 Civil Society Forum will highlight current issues relevant to the disability movement and realization of the CRPD ahead of COSP16. It will provide additional space for civil society to make its own contributions and allow civil society to share and capture important issues.

COSP16 Round Table

Wednesday, 14 June, from 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM ET (US & Canada):

Matters related to the implementation of the Convention: (item 5
(b) (ii):
Roundtable 2. Digital Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities


  • Mr. Sugeeshwara Gunaratna, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka and Vice President of the Conference and
  • Mr. Mohammed Ali Loutfy, Director for Capacity Building and Advocacy, G3ict

Presentations by panelists:

  • Mr. Chong Kwek Bin (Technology Analyst, SG Enable, Singapore)
  • Mr. László G. Lovászy (Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of International Relations and Diplomacy, University of Public Service, Hungary)
  • Mr. Constantinos Stephanidis (President, National Accessibility Authority, Greece)
  • Ms. Roxana Widmer-Iliescu (Senior Coordinator for Digital Inclusion Development Bureau, ITU)
  • Mr. Jean Marie Furaha (Advisor, Rwanda Organization of Persons with DeafBlindness (ROPDB), Rwanda)

Q & A and discussion
Summary of the Chair

COSP16 Side Events Organized or Co-hosted by G3ict

Tuesday, 13 June, from 8:15 AM - 9:30 AM ET (US & Canada), Conference Room 7 (In Person):

Digital Accessibility at the intersection of the CRPD and the Convention on the Rights of Older Persons

Organized by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Ecuador to the United Nations in New York, jointly with G3ict, GIA (Global Initiative on Ageing), and the Harvard Law School Project on Disability.

Since the 2002 Madrid Plan of Action for Ageing, the concept of developing a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons has gained momentum within the United Nations among Civil Society organizations. The session will examine its potential intersections and unique features compared with the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in matters of accessibility and enabling environments from a policy, technology, and advocacy perspective.

Opening Remarks: H.E. Mr. Hernán Pérez Loose, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Ecuador to the United Nations, New Yor

Session Chair: H.E. Mr. Ambassador Luis Gallegos Chiriboga (Ecuador), President, GIA (Global Initiative on Ageing); G3ict and UNITAR Chair of the Board of Directors


  • Ms. María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility
  • Prof. Michael Stein, Co-founder, and Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability
  • Ms. Susan Mazrui, Director, Global Public Policy, AT&T
  • Ms. Bethany Brown, International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
  • Mr. Axel Leblois, President, G3ict

* Remote Captioning will be provided.

Tuesday, 13 June, from 1:15 PM - 2:30 PM ET (US & Canada), Conference Room D (In Person):

Mastering ICT/digital accessibility: Paving the way for a digitally inclusive world for ALL
Organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), jointly with G3ict, European Commission, Zero Project, Billion Strong

Speakers: To be announced

Thursday, 15 June, from 9:45 AM - 11:00 AM ET (US & Canada), Online Event:

Building the Accessibility Profession in Support of CRPD Implementation
Organized by G3ict and IAAP (International Association of Accessibility Professionals)

Register on Zoom to this Online Side Event!

Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) requires States Parties and their constituents to ensure that information and communication technologies products and services are accessible to Persons with Disabilities. The complexity of tasks to achieve this objective has fostered the emergence of the accessibility profession led by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP).

This session will stage professionals from around the world who are IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC), Web Accessibility Specialists (WAS), and Accessible Document Specialists (ADS) reflecting their competence and commitment to the accessibility profession, international standards, and good practices. The session will also explore how IAAP Professional Certifications provide employers, the accessibility community, and the public with an objective measurement of the accessibility competence of current and/or prospective employees or consultants. Survey data for 2022 from IAAP’s over 5,000 certification holders will be highlighted during the presentation. Speakers will also share their motivations for participating in IAAP Professional Certifications and the impact it has had on their careers, their teams, and/or business opportunities.


  • Ms. Samantha Evans, Certification Manager, IAAP/G3ict (Moderator)
  • Ms. Francesca Cesa Bianchi, VP, Institutional Relations and Advocacy, G3ict
  • CPACC, WAS, ADS Certification holders from different countries and professional backgrounds

* International Sign Language, Remote Captioning will be provided.

Learn more about IAAP Professional Development and Certification

Thursday, 15 June, from 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM ET (US & Canada), Online Event:

Accessible Smart Cities: Ensuring urban equality through technologies for all
Organized by UN-Habitat, jointly with the World Blind Union, G3ict and IAAP (International Association of Accessibility Professionals)

Register on Zoom to this Online Side Event!

In a partnership between UN-Habitat, the World Blind Union, G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, and IAAP, this side event will discuss the implementation of Smart City technologies with and for persons with disabilities to ensure accessibility for all. Speakers will include civil society, representatives of local and national authorities and speakers from the UN system. Discussed will be impactful practices that can be scaled up and adapted to other regional contexts, as well as challenges that remain and recommendations to overcome these. The event will also address recommendations for national strategies or actions to accelerate implementation (vertically and horizontally) of the CRPD, particularly Article 9, in the context of deployment of technologies towards removing barriers and support independent living of persons with diverse disabilities.

Speakers: To be announced

* International Sign Language, Remote Captioning will be provided.