Matthew Blaskovich visits UN Headquarters on World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day, 21 March

Matthew Blaskovich visits UN Headquarters on World Down Syndrome DayIn 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.

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.

21 March 2017 marks the 12th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD).

For WDSD 2017, the Day will focus on:

#MyVoiceMyCommunity – Enabling people with Down syndrome to speak up, be heard and influence government policy and action, to be fully included in the community

Events and Information

In 2017, the World Down Syndrome Day Conference will be organized by Down Syndrome International (DSi) and an international network of stakeholders to focus on enabling people with Down syndrome to speak up, as well as those who advocate for them. The Day works to influence Government and policy-makers to act toward the inclusion of people with Down syndrome, on a full and equal basis with others, in all aspects of society.

Global initiatives will be held around the world on the Day, including the 6th annual World Down Syndrome Day Conference, held at UN Headquarters in New York on 21 March, and at the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva on 21 and 22 March, the Self-advocacy workshop plus an “open dialogue” with policy-makers. (#MyVoiceMyCommunity; https://worlddownsyndromeday.org/)

UN Headquarters, New York
Venue: Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA
Date: Tuesday 21 March 2017 – 10am-1pm and 3pm-6pm
Theme: #MyVoiceMyCommunity – Enabling people with Down syndrome to speak up, be heard and influence government policy and action, to be fully included in the community. Program and more information: https://worlddownsyndromeday.org/wdsd-conference.
Register for the New York event (Free)

UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland
For the first time, World Down Syndrome Day will be celebrated at the UN in Geneva in a ground-breaking event on 22 March. Self-advocates from around the world will meet with international policy makers, including Mission representatives at the UN Human Rights Council and members of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Self-advocates with Down syndrome, families and other interested persons are welcome to come along and take part in this Open Dialogue, which is part of the 2017 World Down Syndrome Day #MyVoiceMyCommunity campaign.

Self-Advocacy Pre-Event Workshop
Date: Tuesday 21 March 2017 from 1pm-5pm at the John Knox Centre, Meeting room Flory.
Venue: 27, chemin des Crêts de Pregny – 1218 Grand-Saconnex, Geneva.
The workshop will be based around DSi’s WDSD 2017 Theme #MyVoiceMyCommunity and is open to all people with Down syndrome, families, and other interested persons. The workshop will provide very useful information and assistance as a “pre-event” for the following:

Open Dialogue at UN Geneva
Date: 22 March 2017
Venue: Room XXIV, Building E, United Nations Office at Geneva, 8-14 avenue de la Paix, CH 1211 Geneva.
#MyVoiceMyCommunity – Enabling people with Down syndrome to speak up, be heard and influence government policy and action, to be fully included in the community.

The Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations Geneva is hosting a side event to the UN Human Rights Council sessions on 22 March 2017 at the Palais des Nations, UN in Geneva, from 1-3pm. The event will comprise an “Open Dialogue” between people with Down syndrome and policy makers, which may include Mission representatives, as well as the UN Human Rights Council and members of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Program and more information: https://worlddownsyndromeday.org/wdsd-geneva.
Register for the Geneva event (Free)

More information: https://worlddownsyndromeday.org/