On June 15, 2016 New Zealander Robert Martin was elected to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN headquarters in New York.
“Robert’s election is a milestone achievement for all people with disabilities, he is the first person with a learning disability to stand for and be elected to a UN Committee,” said New Zealand Disabilities Rights Commissioner, Paul Gibson.
“Robert Martin hasn’t just smashed through a glass ceiling, he’s smashed through the ceiling and walls of institutions that locked him away for most of his early years. Every New Zealander can be proud of his incredible achievement today.”
A prominent disability rights advocate, Robert was nominated by the New Zealand government to the Committee that is comprised of 18 independent disability experts. The panel monitors how well countries are implementing the Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities. Eighteen candidates from around the world are vying for nine positions.