"On this World Autism Awareness Day, I call for advancing the rights of individuals with autism and ensuring their full participation and inclusion as valued members of our diverse human family who can contribute to a future of dignity and opportunity for all."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
2016 Theme: "Autism and the 2030 Agenda: Inclusion and Neurodiversity"
Autism and other forms of disability are part of the human experience that contributes to human diversity. As such, the United Nations has emphasized the need to mainstream disability in the Organization’s development agenda. Mainstreaming disability requires an integral approach in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres, so that inequality is not perpetuated.
In September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the ambitious new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets that promise to leave no one behind.
While all SDGs are universally applicable, disability and persons with disabilities are explicitly referenced in the following goals: 4) Quality Education; 8) Decent Work and Economic Growth; 10) Reduced Inequalities; 11) Sustainable Cities and Communities; and 17) Partnerships for the Goals.
This year’s observance will look ahead to 2030 and reflect on the new SDGs and their implications for improving the lives of people with autism.