CYDA at the United Nations CoSP17

Three people sit at a long desk in a brightly lit conference hall at the United Nations. A young brown-skinned non-binary person sits to the left of the photo in front of a microphone. Behind them stands a young fair-skinned man with close-cropped brown hair and glasses. To the right is a blonde woman in a green dress. The group is having a conversation.
CYDA delegates Emily Unity, Daniel Munter, and Skye Kakoschke-Moore in a conference hall at the United Nations Headquarters building.

About CoSP17

Every year, the United Nations holds a conference for countries that have agreed to uphold rights of people with disability.

This conference is called the “Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”, or “CoSP” for short.

In 2024, the UN held its 17th CoSP event, CoSP17, in New York. 

The main theme of CoSP 17 was: “Rethinking disability inclusion in the current international juncture and ahead of the Summit of the Future”.

Its three sub-themes were:

  • Technological innovation for an inclusive future
  • Disability in risk and emergency situations
  • Promoting rights to decent work and sustainable livelihoods

To connect with delegates from around the world, hear their many advocacy stories, and truly feel included and part of an international community with a shared mission was incredible. I came away from CoSP17 feeling like part of a much broader movement that crossed oceans and borders.

CYDA at CoSP17

CYDA sent three delegates to CoSP17, Emily Unity, Daniel Munter, and CEO Skye Kakoschke-Moore, to represent young people with disability on the international stage. 

Over four days, they attended discussions on the CoSP17 themes. They also went to side events on topics like Australia’s National Autism Strategy and inclusive education.

Emily and Daniel gave speeches to peers from countries like the United States, Lithuania, Uganda, Japan, Fiji, and Canada.

They presented at a panel promoting the Disability Inclusion Action Plan for the Commonwealth’s 56 member states, an event on employment inclusion for LGBTQIA+ people with disability, and the Civil Society CRPD Forum.

CoSP17 was also a great place to meet other advocates and organisations. Our delegates learned from experts on subjects like childhood disability research.

A photo of a young man with close-cropped brown hair, a moustache, and glasses wearing a suit. The man is sitting at a long desk in a brightly lit conference hall and speaking into a microphone in front of him.
A photo of a large screen on which a young person with long brown-blonde hair giving a speech is being projected. A sign language interpreter can be seen to the right.
A photo of a young non-binary person with long brown-blonde hair in a sunflower dress standing with their hands clasped in front of them. They are smiling at a man with blonde hair in a blue blazer standing in front of them holding interview questions behind his back.
A photo shows three smiling people in front of the United Nations headquarters building. The woman on the left has long blonde hair and is wearing black-framed glasses and a green dress. The person in the middle has long brown-blonde hair and a black jacket. The man on the right has short-cropped brown hair and is wearing a navy suit, a pink tie, and silver-framed glasses.
CYDA delegates Skye Kakoschke-Moore, Emily Unity, and Daniel Munter outside the United Nations Headquarters building in New York.

Delegate speeches

Before CoSP17 began, our delegates spoke at the Civil Society CRPD Forum. This event was for civil society groups from around the globe to talk about the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

Emily discussed how young people with disability can use technology to build a more inclusive digital future. Daniel addressed the need to do better in creating fair and equitable employment opportunities for young people with disability.

CYDA also took part in CoSP16 and CoSP14

Four young people pictured with CEO of CYDA in front of the UN building in New York. Behind the group are a number of flags flying.

In 2023, CYDA Youth Council members Charlotte Young, Justin Hill, Ashleigh Keating and Danny Dickson travelled to New York with CYDA CEO Skye Kakoschke-Moore.

In 2021, youth delegates Melanie Tran, Jocelyn Neumueller and Tim Chan, and CYDA CEO Mary Sayers represented CYDA at CoSP with an online presentation on inclusive education.