Image from United Nations COSP Website

Since the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) came into force in 2008, there has been a yearly conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York for countries that have ratified the convention to talk about how they are putting it into practice and anything related to that.

Each year’s COSP has an overarching theme, often accompanied by subthemes, an agenda, program and side events. You can read about COSP past sessions on the UN website.

The day before the main COSP, there is a Civil Society Forum where Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) and civil society (i.e. not part of the government) organisations participating in COSP have their own discussions in preparation for the main program.

This is an opportunity to highlight current issues relevant to the disability movement and realisation of the CRPD, and to share and capture what civil society sees as some current standing issues.

We participate in COSP as part of DPO Australia. You can read about what we’ve done at past sessions on the DPO Australia website.


Once again PWDA will represent Australians with disability at the 16th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD (COSP16) which will take place at the United Nations Headquarters, New York from Monday 13 to Wednesday 15 June 2023.

The 2023 COSP16 will meet under an overarching theme of Harmonizing national policies and strategies with the CRPD: achievements and challenges, and consider three main themes:

  1. Ensuring equal access to and accessibility of sexual and reproductive health services for persons with disabilities
  2. Digital accessibility for persons with disabilities
  3. Reaching the under-represented groups of persons with disabilities.

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