UN: UN marks World Autism Day, calls for inclusive societies

New York, US (PANA) - UN officials have highlighted the contributions to humanity by people
with autism, noting that shunning them is a violation of human rights and a waste of human
potential.

Addressing a commemorative event on Friday in New York,UN General Assembly President
Mogens Lykketoft stressed that, "autism and other forms of disability are part of the human
experience that contributes to human diversity."

He noted that autism prevalence figures are growing, one in 68 people, or about one per
cent of the world's population. The vast majority of those affected are children.

He stated: "Today we also celebrate the unique talents of persons with autism", and
emphasized that each must be treated a valued member of society and is thus entitled to
equal opportunity in all respects, including education, employment, participation in social,
political and cultural life and access to information.

Mr. Lykketoft said that UN member states have emphasized the need to mainstream
disability in the global development agenda, saying: "This means that the needs and
rights of persons with disabilities, including autism, need to be taken fully into account,
on an equal footing with other citizens, in the design and implementation of all policies
and programmes.

The president also said that, in adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
in September 2015, the General Assembly pledged that no one would be left behind.

"Let's make that a reality by building providing an inclusive society and accessible
communities where people with autism and other disabilities can thrive, enjoy equal
opportunity and thus be empowered," he said.

In a message on the Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that autism is not
well-understood in many countries, and too many societies shun people with autism.

Ban said: "This is a violation of human rights and a waste of human potential."

He also recalled that, earlier this year, he had engaged in a dialogue with a young
man with autism at UN headquarters, and his innovative approach to the
implementation of the SDGs was impressive.

"The UN is proud to champion the autism awareness movement. The rights,
perspectives and well-being of people with autism, and all persons with disabilities,
are integral to the 2030 Agenda and its commitment to leave no one behind,"
he stated.

Ban also noted that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the UN Convention on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and called on societies to invest more funds
in enabling young persons with autism to be part of their generation's historic push
for progress.
-0- PANA   AA   1April2016

01 april 2016 22:44:03




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