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Senate Should Uphold Rights Of Disabled And Ratify U.N. Treaty

In December, the U.S. Senate failed to ratify a U.N. treaty defending the rights of people with disabilities by five votes, and negotiations are ongoing to arrange another vote, according to a New York Times editorial. “With the social-issue pandering of the 2012 campaign behind us, the treaty can be seen for what it is: a singular opportunity to apply the principles of the highly effective Americans With Disabilities Act to the world at large,” the editorial writes, noting 125 countries have ratified the treaty and President Obama signed it in 2009. “Contrary to critics, national sovereignty is in no way compromised in the treaty’s declaration that all people, regardless of ability, deserve to live in dignity, safety and equality under the law,” the editorial writes, continuing, “The whole point of the treaty is to encourage other nations to match the standards set by the United States in the Americans With Disabilities Act, approved by a bipartisan majority in 1990 and signed by President George H.W. Bush.” The New York Times concludes, “It would be ludicrous if the nation that has been in the forefront of upholding the rights of the disabled rejected a global treaty affirming those rights” (7/17).

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