March 21, 2016
"Persons with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome, are more than persons in need of assistance; they are agents of change who can drive progress across society – and their voices must be heard as we strive to reach the Sustainable Development Goals." - 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.
21 March 2016 marks the 11th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day. For WDSD 2016, Down Syndrome International will focus on: “My Friends, My Community” – the benefits of inclusive environments for today's children and tomorrow's adults.