Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus and the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress, released the following statement today asking the Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
"The Senate's consideration of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides an opportunity for bipartisan unity and international leadership. I am deeply troubled by the obstruction promoted by a group that has apparently decided that any U.N. agreement is dangerous without regard for its meaning. This human rights treaty was negotiated during George W. Bush's administration and has been ratified by 126 countries.
"We already accept the treaty's principles in our own law through the Americans with Disabilities Act, and no one is calling for repeal of the ADA.
"This is about advocating for Americans, including many veterans, traveling or living abroad, and using our influence to reduce global discrimination, because it shouldn't be only in America that someone in a wheelchair can rise to one of his country's highest offices.
"I urge our Senate colleagues to unite behind this treaty's core mission: "to ensure full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.'"