World Down Syndrome Day (21/3) adopted at the UN
With co-sponsorship of 78 countries, Brazil promoted the adoption of a resolution at the UN establishing World Down Syndrome Day, March 21 (21/3). The resolution was adopted by the General Assembly on December 19, 2011, and the date will be observed in 192 member countries beginning 2012.
World Down Syndrome Day was established by Down Syndrome International in 2006, and has been observed in over 60 countries. Brazil is one of the countries that organizes the largest number of events each year to celebrate the date, and for that reason the Brazilian Federation of Down Syndrome Associations asked the support of the Brazilian government for the date to be part of the official UN calendar for international days in 2010. The date is symbolic because it refers to the three copies of chromosome 21 that characterizes Down syndrome.
The project prospered after Senator Lindbergh Farias presented a bill at the Brazilian Senate for the date to be part of the national calendar.
With renewed energy, the Mission of Brazil to the United Nations looked for other countries to be co-sponsors of the document.
On November 10, at the UN Headquarters in New York, during the plenary meeting of the Third Committee, the Brazilian proposal was read and adopted by consensus, with the co-sponsorship of 78 countries (see below).
Watch below Counsellor Joao Lucas Quental, from Brazil, presenting the proposal.
Parte 1 – http://youtu.be/9ExxkNxpwYM
Parte 2 – http://youtu.be/GW3F7GPoGZc
Parte 3 – http://youtu.be/P2Go4QJMrKo
Resolution text and sponsor countries
United Nations A/C.3/66/L.27/Rev.1
General Assembly Distr.: Limited
1 November 2011
11-57664 (E) 031111
Agenda item 69 (a)
Promotion and protection of human rights: implementation
of human rights instruments
Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia (Plurinational State of),
Brazil, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, Iraq,
Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Malta, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Singapore,
Slovenia, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of
America and Uruguay: revised draft resolution
World Down Syndrome 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 Persons with Disabilities,3
according to which persons with disabilities should enjoy a full and decent life, in
conditions that ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the person’s
active participation in the community and the full enjoyment of all human rights and
fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other persons, and by which States
parties undertake to adopt immediate, effective and appropriate measures to raise
awareness throughout society regarding persons with disabilities,
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 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,
Recalling that 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,
Recognizing the inherent dignity, worth and valuable contributions of persons
with intellectual disabilities as promoters of the well-being and diversity of their
communities, and the importance of their individual autonomy and independence,
including the freedom to make their own choices,
1. Decides to designate 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day, to be
observed every year beginning in 2012;
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 Down
Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of Down
3. Encourages Member States to take measures to raise awareness
throughout society, including at the family level, regarding persons with Down
4. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the
attention of all Member States and United Nations organizations.
1 See resolution 60/1.
2 See resolution 55/2.
3 Resolution 61/106, annex I.
Promotion and protection of human rights: implementation of human rights instruments [69 (a)]
Action on draft resolution A/C.3/66/L.27/Rev.1
The Committee was informed that the draft resolution contained no programme budget implications.
The representative of Brazil made a statement and announced that Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, the Philippines, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland joined in sponsoring the draft resolution.
The representative of Iraq announced that his country is not a co-sponsor of the draft resolution.
Albania, Armenia, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Colombia, Eritrea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Moldova, San Marino, Serbia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) joined in sponsoring the draft resolution.
78 State Parties Sponsors in alphabetic order (those that joined first are in bold)
- Bolivia (Plurinational State of),
- Bosnia and Herzegovina,
- Costa Rica,
- Dominican Republic,
- Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of),
- Republic of Korea,
- Republic of Moldova,
- San Marino,
- Syrian Arab Republic,
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
- United States of America
- Uruguay and
- Venezuela (Bolivian Republic of)
UN official Observance calendar.
World Down Syndrome Day, Draft: A/C.3/66/L.27 adopted as A/RES/66/149
25/10/2011 meeting – Brazil presents DS resolution to 3rd Committee
10/11/2012 – 3rdcommittee approves resolution on DS
“Assembly would decide to designate 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day, to be observed every year beginning in 2012. Presenting the text, Brazil’s representative said it aimed to recognize the inherent worth of people with intellectual disabilities, as well as the independence and autonomy of such persons.”
19/12/11 – General Assembly adopts DS resolution
“Draft resolution II on World Down Syndrome Day, approved without a vote on 10 November, would have the Assembly designate 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day, to be observed every year beginning in 2012 and invite all States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, to observe that Day in an appropriate manner to raise public awareness of Down syndrome.”
(Press Release GA/SHC/4028)
Source – Inclusive