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Use COVID-19 Recovery To Make Inclusion ‘a Reality’, UN Chief Says On World Autism Awareness Day

NEW YORK, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / WAM – 03rd Apr, 2021) Building a more inclusive and accessible world that recognises the contributions of all people, including persons with disabilities must be a “key goal” as countries work to recover from COVID-19 pandemic, United Nations Secretary-General said on Friday, commemorating World Autism Awareness Day.

“The crisis has created new obstacles and challenges. But efforts to reignite the global economy offer an opportunity to reimagine the workplace to make diversity, inclusion and equity a reality,” Secretary-General António Guterres said.

“Recovery is also a chance to rethink our systems of education and training to ensure that persons with autism are afforded opportunities for realising their potential,” he added.

Mr. Guterres also emphasised that breaking old habits will be crucial. For persons with autism, he added, access to decent work on an equal basis requires creating an enabling environment, along with reasonable accommodations.

“To truly leave no one behind in pursuit of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, we must realise the rights of all persons with disabilities, including persons with autism, ensuring their full participation in social, cultural and economic life,” he said.

“Let us work together with all persons with disabilities and their representative organizations to find innovative solutions to recover better and build a better world for all.”

According to the UN World Health Organisation (WHO), one in 160 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD begins in childhood and tends to persist into adolescence and adulthood.

Intervention during early childhood is important to promote the optimal development and well-being of persons with an ASD, WHO added, emphasizing the importance of monitoring of child development as part of routine maternal and child health care.

The World Autism Awareness Day, commemorated annually on 2nd April, was established in December 2007 by the UN General Assembly, which affirmed 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”.

The General Assembly also highlighted the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate research and interventions for the growth and development of the individual, and called for efforts to raise awareness throughout society, including at the family level, regarding children with autism.

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