[Leprosy_and_Disability_Forum] Professor Gerard Quinn appointed as the new UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
Professor Quinn is Professor Emeritus in law at the National University of Ireland (Galway). He holds degrees in political science (B.A.) and law (LL.B.) from the National University, is a qualified barrister-at-law (B.L., Kings’ Inns) and a graduate of Harvard Law School (LL.M., S.J.D.). He has a long and varied career in public service. He has directed large studies for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and led the delegation of Rehabilitation International during the drafting of the new UN treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities. He has been a joint honoree with Senator Tom Harkin of the United States International Council on Disability (2014) and received a Presidential Award from Rehabilitation International in 2009 for his work in drafting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He sits, and has sat, on many advisory boards including those of the Soros-Open Society Foundations Human Rights Initiative (Washington DC) and Human Rights Watch disability programme (NYC), Director of Research at the Irish Government’s Law Reform Commission, Irish Human Rights Commission, Government bodies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Joint Committee on human rights and the Government’s Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, European Commission (EU) on equality policy, and was also the First Vice President of the Council of Europe’s Social Rights Committee (a treaty monitoring body on economic and social rights in Europe). He also directs a Centre on International Disability Law & Policy at the Law School of the National University of Ireland, Galway which is one of the first of its kind in the world with a dedicated masters (LLM) and PhD programme in international disability law. He holds an adjunct chair in the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), Hyderabad, India, is a former Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School, is a former Visiting Professor at the University of Haifa, Israel, and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Among his priorities, Professor Quinn 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 scourge of 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 to peace-building, nation-building and development, highlighting the need to promote their active citizenship.
We, at DPI, congratulate Professor Quinn on his new role and extend our full support to him!