A United Nations committee passed a resolution November 10 to designate March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day.
For people with Down Syndrome, the date, 3-21, holds special significance because Down Syndrome is created when people have 3 copies of their 21st chromosome.
The UN General Assembly is expected to adopt the resolution, proposed by Brazil, in December. The resolution has 78 co-sponsors, including the United States.
“This will ensure a major step forward towards our goal for (World Down Syndrom Day) to be observed and celebrated by persons with Down syndrome, their families and friends, those who live and work with them and all persons who wish to promote and ensure quality of life and human rights for all persons with Down syndrome,” said Down Syndrome International in a news release.
The resolution would culminate a long time effort by Down Syndrome International to increase awareness about the disability, which affects about 1 in 800 people worldwide. World Down Syndrome Day has been recognized in 60 states to date.
In 2007, the UN recognized April 2 as World Autism Day.