Purpose: To inform the public about Autism, Autism symptoms, the rise in the number of children being diagnosed with autism, and to promote early diagnosis and interventions.
How Can You Let People Know: Wearing blue – Many public buildings will attempt to show their support by using blue lights.
About: The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution which declares April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD)
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly
[on the report of the Third Committee (A/62/435)]
62/139. World Autism Awareness Day
The General Assembly,
Recalling the 2005 World Summit Outcome1 and the United Nations Millennium Declaration,2 as well as the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields, Recalling also the Convention on the Rights of the Child3 and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 4 according to which children with disabilities should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child’s active participation in the community, as well as the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children,
Affirming that ensuring and promoting the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities is critical to achieving internationally agreed development goals, Aware that autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life and results from a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, mostly affecting children in many countries irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status, and characterized by
impairments in social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted, repetitive behaviour, interests and activities,5 Deeply concerned by the prevalence and high rate of autism in children in all regions of the world and the consequent development challenges to long-term health care, education, training and intervention programmes undertaken by Governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, as well as its tremendous impact on children, their families, communities and societies,
1 See resolution 60/1.
2 See resolution 55/2.
3 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
4 Resolution 61/106, annex I.
5 See International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, tenth revision
(subcategories F84.0 and F84.1), endorsed by the forty-third World Health Assembly in May 1990.
Recalling that early diagnosis and appropriate research and interventions are
vital to the growth and development of the individual,
1. Decides to designate 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day, to be
observed every year beginning in 2008;
2. 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 Autism
Awareness Day in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of autism;
3. Encourages Member States to take measures to raise awareness
throughout society, including at the family level, regarding children with autism;
4. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the
attention of all Member States and United Nations organizations.
76th plenary meeting
18 December 2007
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