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Happy child with painted handsA neurological disorder normally exhibited by the third year, autism is a complex developmental disability that interferes with normal brain function and demonstrates itself in communication and social interaction. Statistically, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect five times more boys than girls. In the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in 88 children is diagnosed with ASD.  However, this is a worldwide problem that demands global recognition and action.


These children represent so much more than statistics. Behind every number, there is a face with potential. With early intervention, abilities can be enhanced and developed. Today, 2 April, the United Nations celebrates World Autism Awareness Day.  Both the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and his wife Ban Soon-taek, are committed to raising the awareness of ASD.


UN News Centre Source

“Now is the time to work for a more inclusive society, highlight the talents of affected people and ensure opportunities for them to realize their potential,” Mr. Ban said. “International attention is essential to address stigma, lack of awareness and inadequate support structures,” he added.  “Let us continue to work hand-in-hand with affected individuals which strengthens their lives and helps society as a whole,” Mrs. Ban said.

In November, the General Assembly held a High-level Special Event on Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Member States adopted a new resolution encouraging governments to strengthen research and expand their delivery of health, education, employment and other essential services. The resolution is also meant to help close the “awareness gap” in terms of developing countries’ knowledge of autism and how to treat the illness.

In New York, two panel discussions take place today to celebrate the abilities of people with autism. In addition to scholars and civil society representatives, the panels feature Neal Katz, a teenager with autism featured in the film ‘Autism The Musical’ Fazli Azeem, a Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan who is on the autism spectrum; and Idil Azeem from Somalia, who has a child with autism. UN Headquarters in New York is also hosting a musical performance by Talina and The Miracle Project, which includes performers with autism, as well as a film screening.



Talent and creativity live inside all of us. Left unchecked for people with developmental disorders, it is all of humanity’s loss. World Autism Awareness Day is a special day that needs to be embraced by each of us. We have met our goal when “The Sky is the Limit” for EVERYONE.


By, Susan Sacirbey


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“What we need is to create new momentum for ocean sustainability. The Oceans Compact sets out a strategic vision for the UN System to deliver more coherently and effectively on its oceans-related mandates, consistent with the Rio+20 outcome,” offered UNSG Ban Ki-moon as he launched a new initiative to reinvigorate protection of the oceans and its resources. –MORE–

United Nations Public Service Day is June 23, 2012, (but this year observed on June 25, 2012), & the UN’s top brass “hailed the vital role played by those who dedicate their lives to public service & work diligently to make a positive difference in the lives of millions worldwide.” Indeed it is an ironic moment when public service workers & their jobs face severe cutbacks, from Greece to Wisconsin. –More–