Friday, February 21, 2014

CRPD: Two Suggestions Whose Time Has Come

Some Senators have single, substantive objections to the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Other Senators have not voiced either support or objection because, as they point out, they have not seen the text of a draft resolution on the CRPD. We can work with these two circumstances. We can turn things around, build momentum, and achieve ratification within a reasonable amount of time.

First, the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Menendez, has a good sense of who the single-issue Senators are. I urge the Chairman to ask each of these single-issue Senators to give him draft language on that one issue. Perhaps, the Chairman could ask those Senators with the same single issue to submit something jointly to him. Another option -- the Chairman could choose to reach out to one single-issue Senator on each issue for draft language just to save time. Either way, if agreement is reached on even one issue, then that's one more valuable vote. These single-issue Senators, to whom the Chairman reaches out, need not be on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Second, once the Chairman has a draft of the CRPD resolution, he should share it with everyone, Senators on and off of his committee. The single-issue Senators, who contributed to it, should be recognized in what is circulated.

Transparency, openness, and evidence of partnership are tools that will help us get to ratification.

These two suggestions should be embraced with vigor right now. They are worth trying. The status quo is in need of a jolt.

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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