Dhaka has called upon the United Nations to build together an inclusive world for persons with autism.
“We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that 75 million people in the world who live with autism can make the most of their talents and participate fully in our societies,” Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said at the UN, reports BSS.
He urged all to work together to come up with innovative solutions to better integrate individuals with disabilities into the community and leave no one behind.
Bangladesh Foreign Secretary made the call while speaking at a high-level event titled “World Autism Awareness Day 2023: Inclusion for health through the life course” jointly organized by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh, Qatar, World Health Organization and UNICEF at the United Nations Headquarters on Monday, a press release said on Tuesday.
Permanent Representative of Qatar in the UN Ambassador Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh in the UN Ambassador Muhammad A Muhith delivered the welcome remarks.
In his keynote speech, Foreign Secretary Momen said that Bangladesh has seen tremendous increase in awareness on autism in the past decade, thanks to Saima Wazed, Chairperson of Bangladesh National Advisory Committee on Autism and Neuro developmental Disorders, who was the inspiration behind these efforts.
He highlighted the various initiatives of Bangladesh government which includes, among others, enactment of Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act 2013; Neuro-development Trust Act 2013; establishment of more than 100 Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorder centers and introduction of capacity building trainings for caregivers.
Simultaneously with its national efforts, he said that Bangladesh had been advocating the issue at the UN, including through adopting UNGA resolution, and co-hosting the “World Autism Awareness Day” every year since its launching in 2007 along with its national efforts.
“We also made specific commitments in the Second Global Disability Summit 2022 to address the challenges Autistic persons face while receiving education and healthcare”, he added.
Moderated by Mr Werner Obermeyer, Director, WHO, the event was attended by a significant number of Permanent Representatives, UN high officials, civil society representatives and media personalities.
Besides, the foreign secretary had bilateral meetings with Under Secretary General for Political and Peace building Affairs Rosemary A. Dicarlo, Executive Director of the UN Women Sima Sami Bahous, and Mohamed Khaled Khiari, Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Political Affairs.
He also had a bilateral meeting with the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations Björn Olof Skoog.
During these meetings, Foreign Secretary briefed them about the developments concerning upcoming general election of Bangladesh, current situations in the Rohingya camps and Bangladesh’s partnership with the UN in various socio-economic sector.
Momen sought the support of the UN in the early repatriation of the Rohingyas to their homeland Myanmar in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner.
The counterparts assured the Foreign Secretary of their understanding and commitment for continued partnership with Bangladesh.