Newsflash: Professor Gerard Quinn is the new UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

Image: Professor Gerard Quinn is the new UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

The Dementia Alliance International wishes to congratulate Professor Gerard Quinn on his appointment as the new UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Mr. Quinn takes over the role from Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar who has worked tirelessly for persons with disabilities, and who has been appointed as Costa Rica’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva. Catalina has actively worked to ensure people with dementia are included in this work, for which we thank her.

Given Mr. Quinn’s extensive experience and expertise, we look forward to the implementation of this important mandate in the coming years.

It is a critical time for the rights of persons with disabilities, and we know Professor Quinn will carry out his role in a way that ensures inclusive, systematic and sustainable change to ensure the universal respect, protection, and fulfillment of the rights of person with disabilities, including peopel with dementia, while fully considering multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.

The Dementia Alliance International looks forward to the Special Rapporteur’s contribution to the successful implementation of the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy as part of ongoing efforts to ensure that the United Nations system is fit for purpose in relation to disability inclusion.

Among his priorities, Mr. Quinn said that he will work to ensure that the voices of persons with disabilities are heard loud and clear, in global responses to general calamities caused by Covid-19, climate change and the armed conflicts. He highlighted the need for systemic change to underpin the gains of the UN CRPD, and to focus attention on the cultural and structural changes needed for the Sustainable Development Goals to be attained.

He will also continue to bring attention to the positive contribution of persons with disabilities, including highlighting the need to promote our active citizenship.

Mr. Quinn is a Professor Emeritus in law at the National University of Ireland, with a long career in public service. He sits on the scientific committee of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (EU FRA, Vienna), and has led the delegation of Rehabilitation International during the drafting of the UN CRPD.  To learn more about Mr. Quinn, follow this link.