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2008 Media Release: Australian elected to UN committee

Commission Commission – General

4 November 2008

Australian elected to UN committee

The Australian Human Rights Commission congratulates Professor Ron McCallum AO, who has been elected as one of 12 experts to the first monitoring committee for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

"Professor McCallum's election is a great honour for Australia," said Human Rights Commissioner Graeme Innes. "It will further enhance the respect Australia has recently attracted on international human rights issues."

Professor McCallum, the former Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney and an expert in industrial law, won his place from a large field of candidates from other countries.

Professor McCallum’s lived experience of disability further qualified him for the role.

He is the only Australian currently serving on a UN treaty body.

"This Convention at last gives specific human rights to the 600 million people around the world who are living with disability - and a distinguished Australian will now play a role in its implementation," Commissioner Innes said.

"The appointment of Professor Ron McCallum will also continue Australia's progress towards a national disability strategy which will allow all Australians with disability to be able to enjoy equal access to all aspects of Australian life and to participate as full citizens," Commissioner Innes said.

Australia ratified the Convention in July this year.

Media contact: Brinsley Marlay 02 9284 9656 or 0430 366 529