The news is still full of coverage of a particular election in the US earlier this month, but another major election will take place later in November that will have a huge impact on the rights of people with disabilities around the world.
On November 30th, nine new members will be elected to the 18-member committee that oversees the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Half of this committee is elected every two years for a four-year term. Similar to this other election, an incumbent member can only be re-elected once. Here is a quick guide to the CRPD electoral process.
Where does the election take place?
The election will take place at the Conference of the Parties to the CRPD at the UN headquarters in New York. The conference is the assembly of countries that have signed and / or ratified (made legally binding) the Convention.
Candidates can be nominated by any member country that has both signed and ratified the CRPD. This year, 28 candidates – 13 men and 15 women – with different backgrounds and experiences were nominated. Each candidate’s information and electoral field can be viewed on the CRPD electoral website.
How does the voting work?
Each country can vote for as many or as few candidates as it would like to fill the nine vacancies. The vote is a secret vote. Once all countries have completed their ballot papers, the UN Secretariat calls up the name of each country in alphabetical order for a representative to cast.
How are successful candidates chosen?
To be elected, a candidate must receive both the greatest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes from representatives of the countries present and voting. For example, if all 182 eligible countries are present and voting, a candidate must ensure that their vote is below the top nine of the total and is above 91.
What happens if there are not enough candidates with a majority to fill all positions?
If not enough candidates are elected to fill all vacant positions in the committee, additional voting rounds will be carried out according to the procedure described above until all nine positions are filled.
When do elected candidates start working on the committee?
The mandates of the nine committee members whose seats are available for election expire on December 31, 2020, so that the work of the newly elected committee members will not begin until 2021.
Find out more about the UN Disability Committee elections