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Coronavirus Pandemic

COVID-19 recovery is chance to make inclusion ‘a reality’: UN chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaking at the event
Photo: Dreamstime

On World Autism Awareness Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “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.”

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

Mr. Guterres also emphasized 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 realize 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 Organization (WHO), one in 160 children has an autism. Autism 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 Autism, WHO added, emphasizing the importance of monitoring of child development as part of routine maternal and child health care. 

While some individuals with autism are able to live independently, others have severe disabilities and require life-long care and support. Persons with an autism are also often subject to stigma and discrimination, including unjust deprivation of health care, education, protection under law, and opportunities to engage and participate in their communities.

 

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