Adoption of the Code of Conduct removes the last barrier to the formal conclusion of the UNCRPD
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which entered into force on 3 May 2008, is the first human rights Convention signed by the EU. All EU Member States have signed the UNCRPD and a majority has signed its Optional Protocol too. The next step, ratification, is underway. Until now, 16 Member States have deposited their instruments of ratification at the UN Headquarters.
In November 2009 the Council adopted the Decision that the EU will formally conclude (which equals ratification) the UNCRPD. Articles 3 and 4 of this Decision provide that first a Code of Conduct (between the Council, the Member States and the Commission) shall be adopted. On 2 December 2010 the Council adopted the Code of Conduct, which provides the details of EU internal arrangements for representation of the Union's position on the international scene, for speaking and voting arrangements and for the coordination of positions relating to the UNCRPD.
The adoption of the Code of Conduct was the last legal step, which cleared the way for the deposition of the instruments of formal confirmation of the Convention with the UN in New York on 23 December 2010. A month later the UN Convention officially entered into force for the EU