"For children and adults with Down syndrome, equal access to health services is critical to their empowerment and full participation in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition, exists in all regions across the globe and commonly results in variable effects on learning styles, physical characteristics or health.
Adequate access to health care, to early intervention programmes and to inclusive education, as well as appropriate research, are vital to the growth and development of the individual.
In December 2011, the General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day (A/RES/66/149). The General Assembly decided, with effect from 2012, to observe World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March each year, and Invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome.
Events for World Down Syndrome Day 2014:
On Friday, March 21, from 13:30 to 18:00, in the Economic and Social Council Chamber (CB)
On the occasion of World Down Syndrome Day there will be panel discussions on “Health and well-being – Access and equality for all” (co-organized by Down Syndrome International, in collaboration with the Permanent Missions of Australia, Brazil, India, Poland and Japan, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA).