19 March 2014

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Equal Access to Health Services Critical to Empowering Those with Down


Syndrome, Secretary-General Says in Message for Observance


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World Down Syndrome Day, to be observed on 21 March:

This year’s World Down Syndrome Day focuses on “Health and Well-being — Access and Equality for All”.

Too often, persons with disabilities — including those with Down syndrome — face stigma, discrimination and exclusion.  The lack of full and equal participation of those with Down syndrome affects not only individuals and their families, but society at large.

For children and adults with Down syndrome, equal access to health services is critical to their empowerment and full participation in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  This important fact was recognized by Member States at last year’s United Nations High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on Disability and Development.

The emerging post-2015 global development agenda offers a vital opportunity to build a life of dignity for all.  Let us take concrete action now towards the inclusion of all persons with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome.

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For information media • not an official record