IF is pleased with the overwhelming support that the resolution received at the European Parliament and calls the Parliament to take on a more active role in realising the European Union’s obligations towards persons with disabilities. Brussels 21 May 2015 // In its resolution on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted yesterday, the European Parliament calls for more measures to ensure that citizens with disabilities enjoy their right to free movement between the Member States on an equal footing with others. The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) stresses that the EU obligations under the Convention (ratified by the EU in 2010) will not be complete until all children and adults with disabilities enjoy the right to cross-border healthcare without discrimination on the basis of disability.

HLPF post 20154 May 2015 // The 2015 meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will take place from 26 June - 8 July, in New York. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development. The forum will debate the theme: "Strengthening integration, implementation and review - the HLPF after 2015". The International Disability Alliance (IDA) and CBM have prepared an official document to this third session of the HLPF, aimed at advancing the discussions on how best to review progress towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the overall post-2015 development agenda for persons with disabilities. This is an historic opportunity for the movement of the rights of persons with disabilities, as for the first time, persons with disabilities have been invited by the UN Secretariat to contribute to official documentation and to explore the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in the review and monitoring mechanism that will be established by the HLPF. The submission has been signed by more than 90 disability organisations. It will be translated into the UN languages and distributed to the member states.

WHO guideline 201527 April 2015 // In April 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) released the Guideline on Optimal Serum and Red Blood Cell Folate Concentrations in Women of Reproductive Age for Prevention of Neural Tube Defects. The guideline provides global, evidence-informed recommendations on blood folate concentrations in women of reproductive age to reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) in populations. It aims to help Member States and their partners in their efforts to make informed decisions on the appropriate nutrition actions to take to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in particular reduction of child mortality (MDG 4) and improvement of maternal health (MDG 5), through the establishment of appropriate threshold values for red blood cell folate concentrations at the population level.

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