United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged everyone to “make every effort” to ensure that the new sustainable development goals address equality and help build a life of dignity for all, including people with Down syndrome and other persons with disabilities.
Mr. Ban's call came in his message for this year's World Down Syndrome Day, which is observed on 21 March and aims to raise public awareness of the genetic disorder.
The UN chief applauded all those who champion the rights and lives of persons with disabilities, and urged others to support them. He also noted that this year's Day “falls as the international community is striving to create a universal, transformative agenda for sustainable development.”
“Every year on this observance, we reaffirm that persons with Down syndrome are entitled to the full enjoyment of all human rights,” he said. “This year, we must make every effort to ensure that the new sustainable development goals address equality and help build a life of dignity for all, including people with Down syndrome and other persons with disabilities.”
He also noted the role of families as central to supporting persons with Down syndrome.
“At the same time,” he noted, “we must recognize our collective responsibility to create conditions for all persons with disabilities to make valuable contributions to our shared future. We must promote inclusive policies and raise awareness about social justice for people with Down syndrome and do everything possible to enable them to live where they want and with whom, to form their own families, to administer their own assets and to pursue their own happiness.”
“Let us use this World Down Syndrome Day to advocate for a more socially just and inclusive world,” he urged.