United Nations passes historic resolution on World Down Syndrome Day

191 Countries will participate in raising awareness on March 21, 2012 

Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome invited to speak at United Nations’ Down Syndrome Conference
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DENVER and NEW YORK – On March 21, 2012, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome will speak at the first United Nations’ Down Syndrome Conference. The conference will commemorate the UN’s resolution to recognize March 21st as the official “World Down Syndrome Day” in 191 countries. World renowned speakers from several countries including Brazil, the United Kingdom, Indonesia and Peru have been invited to speak.

Michelle Sie Whitten, executive director of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, will kick-off the panel of speakers addressing “The Power of Media – A Guide to Working with the Media to Promote Inclusion.” Whitten’s foundation has been successful in attracting celebrities such as Quincy Jones, Jamie Foxx, John C. McGinley, Beverly Johnson and Jeff Probst to the Down syndrome cause while equally promoting self-advocate celebrities and Ambassadors such as DeOndra Dixon, Karen Gaffney, Sujeet Desai and Alex Sessions.

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s primary objective is to significantly improve the lives of people with Down syndrome through research and medical care. To this end, the foundation supports the first academic research home for Down syndrome, the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome.

Dr. Edward McCabe, executive director of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, will present the latest news on clinical care, treatment and research for people with Down syndrome to the conference’s international audience. To access the agenda for the UN Conference on Down Syndrome or to learn more about World Down Syndrome Day please visit World Down Syndrome Day Conference website.

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation and the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome are proud to stand with partners including UNICEF, Special Olympics and Down Syndrome International to commemorate the contributions and inherent value of people with Down syndrome at this first-of-its-kind event.

About the Global Down Syndrome Foundation
The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a public non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education and advocacy. Formally established in 2009, the Foundation’s primary focus is to support the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first academic home in the US committed to research and medical care for people with the condition. Fundraising and government advocacy that corrects the alarming disparity of national funding for people with Down syndrome is a major short-term goal. The Foundation organizes the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show – the single largest annual fundraiser benefitting people with Down syndrome. Programmatically, the Foundation organizes and funds many programs and conferences including the Dare to Play Football and Cheer Camps, Global Down Syndrome Educational Series and Global Down Syndrome Multi-Language Resource Project. The Foundation is an inclusive organization without political or religious affiliation or intention.

About World Down Syndrome Day
World Down Syndrome Day was established by Down Syndrome International in 2006 and has been observed in more than 60 countries worldwide to date. It is held on 21 March (3/21) to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of chromosome 21 which causes the genetic condition. The aim of the day is to raise awareness and understanding about Down syndrome, and to promote the inherent rights of persons with Down syndrome to enjoy full and dignified lives and be active and valuable participants in their communities and society.

A resolution to designate 3/21 as “World Down Syndrome Day”, to be observed every year beginning in 2012, was adopted by consensus by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011. The resolution was proposed and promoted by Brazil, and co-sponsored by 78 UN Member States. From 2012 onwards, the date will be celebrated by all 192 UN countries. 

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