A month ago, 192 representatives of the UN’s Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) approved a draft resolution introduced by the Qatari delegation designating one special day as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD). This resolution has now been adopted such that WAAD will be observed annually every April 2nd beginning in 2008. The resolution further encourages all Member States to take measures to raise awareness about autism throughout society.
Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, welcomes this important development. Quoted below is an excerpt of the news article posted on their website.
Autism Speaks Applauds the State of Qatar for the Creation of Annual United Nations World Autism Awareness Day
An Unprecedented Global Effort to Increase Awareness about Autism Begins April 2, 2008
Autism Speaks Co-founders Bob and Suzanne Wright today joined H.E. Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, at a press conference announcing that April 2 will be designated World Autism Awareness Day following the adoption of the Qatari resolution on World Autism Awareness Day at the plenary of the Third Committee of the General Assembly. The 192 representatives of the U.N.’s Third Committee – that handles social, humanitarian and cultural issues – adopted the WAAD resolution by consensus, paving the way for the establishment of what will be one of an exclusive group of official disease or disorder-specific United Nations Days.
Source: UN News Centre