In Bi-Partisan Vote, Foreign Relations Committee Passes Disabilities Treaty

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Jodi Seth, (202) 224-4159


Washington, DC – On the 22nd anniversary of the landmark passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Chairman John Kerry and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution of advice and consent to Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Treaty Doc. 112-7).  The resolution was amended and passed by a strong bi-partisan vote of 13 to 6.

The Convention is an international agreement for protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities. It sets broad goals of autonomy, equality, acceptance, and accessibility. 

“Today we had a strong bi-partisan vote to advance a treaty to protect Americans with disabilities when they leave our shores, and to help export America’s values of non-discrimination against all people living with disabilities,” said Sen. Kerry. “This was a vote for equality of opportunity, independent living, economic self-sufficiency, and full participation for all people with disabilities both here and abroad.  Today we celebrate the 22nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but rather than rest on our laurels, we are voting today to build on its success. I am deeply grateful to our Committee members for a bi-partisan outcome, and particularly thankful for Republican standard bearers both past and present, notably Senator McCain and former Majority Leader Dole, who joined us in advocating such an important cause, and to Senators Harkin and Durbin who are as deeply committed to this cause as Senator Kennedy was to the original ADA.” 

Earlier this month, Kerry Chaired a hearing on the treaty in which administration officials, advocacy group representatives, and veterans expressed their strong support.

Today, the Committee also approved the following nominations and foreign service promotions en bloc by voice vote:

Nominations:

  • The Honorable Gene Allan Cretz, of New York, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana
  • Ms. Deborah Ruth Malac, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia
  • Mr. David Bruce Wharton, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Zimbabwe
  • Mr. Alexander Mark Laskaris, of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea
  • The Honorable Marcie B. Ries, of the District of Columbia, to be an Ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Mr. John M. Koenig, of Washington, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus
  • The Honorable Michael David Kirby, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia
  • Mr. Thomas Hart Armbruster, of New York, to be Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Ms. Greta Christine Holtz, of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman

Foreign Service Lists:

  • Narendran Chanmugam, et al., dated June 7, 2012
  • Thomas J. Brennan, et al., dated June 20, 2012

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