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Customer Showcase: Coalition for Inclusion
The UN Treaty you are referring to is likely the "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" (CRPD). The CRPD is an international human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006 and entered into force in 2008. Its purpose is to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities.
History of UN Ambassadors
Since its inception, the Coalition for Inclusion has been engaged in activities to raise awareness of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Netherlands. In the first half of 2013, the Coalition for Inclusion carried out the project 'UN Convention around the Corner,' which consisted of working sessions in all 12 provinces. It was in Drenthe and Friesland that the idea of presenting ourselves as local advocates emerged. The concept of 'UN Ambassador' was born. The CVI website featured the UN Ambassadors on the map. The first 12 UN Ambassadors together devised the 'UN Panels in Position' project. During the 'Making the UN Convention a Reality' project, they successfully secured support from several funds. Many people involved in this project joined, and others followed suit. By early 2016, we were already 80 strong. The 'UN Ambassadors at Work' project in 2017-2018 expanded the ambassador network to over 350 individuals. By 2020, there were 450 UN Ambassadors. The experiences within the 'UN Ambassadors Strengthen Each Other' project (with Inclusion Netherlands Association) in 2020-2021 reveal that there are still many invisible ambassadors.
UN Ambassadors Strengthen Each Other
The 'UN Ambassadors Strengthen Each Other' project was carried out in the provinces of Zeeland, North Brabant, Friesland, Drenthe, and North Holland in 2020 and 2021. The goal is for UN Ambassadors in these provinces to get to know each other well. A survey of UN Ambassadors in 2018 showed that many of them felt quite isolated. When UN Ambassadors know each other, it becomes easier to approach each other, and you also know who to turn to for what. You understand the ins and outs of the region. This can be helpful when brainstorming an idea, plan, or approach. And if you need hands-on help, it's also within reach this way. We expect that knowing each other will make UN Ambassadors more effective in their work and that, inspired by each other, even more will come to fruition. For this purpose, UN Ambassadors, together with the Inclusion Netherlands Association, secured a grant from ZonMw in the 'For Each Other!' program. Each province has an ambassador as a "champion" (click on the provinces to send the champion an email). Initially, the introduction was supposed to happen through physical meetings. However, all of that fell through due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, all champions have adjusted their plans, and regular video conferencing meetings are taking place. It's also exciting to see ambassadors in cities like The Hague and Zutphen initiating similar initiatives. Recently, someone from Ede has been connecting all ambassadors in Gelderland.
UN Ambassadors are now working together with each other and organizations in the 'Putting UN Ambassadors on the Map!' project, where we are building an online platform together.