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UN chief salutes courage of children, families battling with autism
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08:52, April 03, 2008

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute on Wednesday to the courage of children with autism and their families.

In a message marking the first World Autism Awareness Day, Ban highly praised the courage of children with autism and their families, "as they strive every day to confront the disability with a powerful combination of determination, creativity and hope."

"Let us empower them and respond to their needs today, so as to make our societies more accessible, enabling and empowering for all our children tomorrow," he stated.

Ban also noted that throughout its history, the United Nations has promoted the rights and well-being of the disabled, including children with developmental disabilities.

"It is especially fitting that this inaugural Day falls in 2008-- the year in which we celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration for Human Rights, and expect to see the entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the General Assembly in 2006," he added.

The General Assembly declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day last November in a bid to provide a landmark opportunity to focus attention on a global epidemic estimated to affect 35 million people worldwide, highlighting the need to help improve their lives.

Source: Xinhua

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