JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY
Senators Mitch Fifield and Sue Boyce have today welcomed World Down Syndrome Day, marked globally on the 21st of March every year.
World Down Syndrome Day has been celebrated for seven years but 2012 is the first year that the day will be officially observed by the United Nations.
Today is an opportunity to raise awareness about Down syndrome and recognise the contribution that people with Down syndrome make to our communities.
Senators Mitch Fifield and Sue Boyce, together with Senators Carol Brown and Rachel Siewert, will today move in the Senate the following motion acknowledging World Down Syndrome Day and supporting its celebration across the world.
Senators Boyce, Carol Brown, Siewert and Fifield give notice that on the next day of sitting we will move that this Senate:
- note that March 21, 2012, marks the sixth anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day and the first time that day has been acknowledged under the auspices of the United Nations;
- congratulates Down Syndrome International and Down Syndrome Associations in Australia and the hundreds of thousands of people who campaigned for World Down Syndrome Day to be officially recognised by the United Nations;
- notes that the UN resolution to recognise World Down Syndrome Day was proposed by Brazil and co-sponsored by 78 United Nation member states including Australia;
- recognises that Down syndrome is the most prevalent genetic cause of intellectual disability and that the characteristics of Down syndrome have been known since medieval times;
- acknowledges that barriers faced by people with Down syndrome can be overcome through the shared vision for an inclusive Australian society that enables people with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens;
- acknowledges the multi-partisan support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme and encourages the Australian Government to continue to push forward with the implementation of a National Disability Insurance Scheme to give Australians with Down syndrome and other disabilities the opportunity to live fulfilling lives; and
- Supports the celebration of UN World Down Syndrome Day by people with Down syndrome, their families, friends and carers, and the wider community.