Nigerian mental health activist and inaugural Marca Bistro Fellow, Hauwa Ojeifo is set to give the opening statement at the 14th United Nations Conference of State Parties (UN COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Founded to help actualize the implementation of the articles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons Living with Disabilities (UN CRPD) in party countries, the UN COSP is an annual conference adopted in 2008 by the UN’s General Assembly. It was established in fulfilment of Article 40 of the UNCRPD which provides for the establishment of a space where state parties can discuss the implementation of the UNCRPD.
The fourteenth annual conference, holding live on YouTube from the 15th – 17th June 2021, will highlight an overarching theme titled ‘Building Back Better‘, which will examine the socio-economic impact of COVID19 on persons with disabilities.
Joining big wigs like the Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres who opens the Conference with a statement of his own every year, Hauwa will set the tone for the three-day conference by addressing one hundred and sixty-three signatories to the CRPD and the UN General Assembly.
Hauwa is the Founder and Executive Director of She Writes Woman mental health initiative. Her work at She Writes Woman has helped highlight the realities of persons living with mental health conditions in Nigeria while empowering them to co-create solutions that address these realities.
Through She Writes Woman, Hauwa has helped train sixty persons living with mental health conditions on strategic advocacy for pursuing rights-based approaches on mental health legislation. In this vein, her work in Nigeria helps highlight the aims and objectives of the COSP.