I am pleased to announce that today the first United Kingdom Government report on implementation of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities was submitted to the United Nations.
This is an important milestone. The report sets out the progress we have made across the United Kingdom and the approach to delivering the Government’s commitment to equality for disabled people.
Going forward, the Government are now developing a new disability strategy to take forward the obligations of the UN convention, and to ensure disabled people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. We will involve disabled people in this process and I will be setting out my approach shortly, with a view to publishing the strategy next year.
I am also pleased to announce that the Government are withdrawing the UK’s reservation entered against article 12.4 of the convention. This reservation was entered because the existing social security benefit appointee system lacked appropriate safeguards in the arrangements to enable the appointment of a person to collect and claim benefits on behalf of someone else. Following the development and piloting of a proportionate system of review to address this issue, which involved disabled people, we introduced the system in October this year and it is being rolled out to cover all appointees. We believe that we have met the requirements of article 12.4 and accordingly the reservation entered against this article will now be withdrawn.