May 25, 2012--Washington, DC-- Disability Rights International (DRI) applauds the bipartisan group of U.S. Senators who earlier today released a unified statement urging the U.S. to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The statement, authored by Senators McCain (R-AZ), Durbin (D-IL), Moran (R-KS), Harkin (D-IA), Barrasso (R-WY), Coons (D-DE), and Udall (D-NM) stresses the "fundamental values of non-discrimination and equal access for persons with disabilities in all areas of life." The CRPD is the first human rights treaty of the 21st century, and is the most progressive declaration on the human rights of persons with physical and mental disabilities around the world. 112 countries have ratified the CRPD. Last week, the Obama Administration formally requested that the Senate ratify the treaty on behalf of the United States. "Anchored in the principles of equality of opportunity, nondiscrimination, respect for dignity and individual autonomy, and inclusion of persons with disabilities, the Convention seeks to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities," said President Barack Obama. "Around the world, Disability Rights International has documented a vast array of human rights violations against people with disabilities," said Eric Rosenthal, Executive Director of Disability Rights International. "The CRPD is the first international treaty to speak to the special concerns of people with disabilities. DRI is proud that the United States is considering joining the international community in standing up for the right of people with disabilities around the world to be free from discrimination and abuse, and to participate fully in all aspects of life." DRI has played a leading role in pushing for US ratification of the CRPD through its work with the US International Council on Disabilities (USICD), a coalition of US-based organizations, federal agencies and individuals committed to advocacy and action on behalf of the global disability rights agenda.