Down Syndrome International
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WDSD Conference

World Down Syndrome Day Conference at United Nations HQ in New York


Following the declaration of 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011, Down Syndrome International organised the first WDSD Conference at United Nations HQ in New York, United States in March 2012. The WDSD Conference has become an annual event in the UN calendar.


The WDSD Conference is an international conference held on or as close as possible to World Down Syndrome Day each year, organised by Down Syndrome International and sponsored by Permanent Missions of UN Member States and international agencies and non-governmental organisations.


Speakers at the conference comprise a wide cross section from countries around the world and include professionals, advocates and self-advocates.



The Conference has a theme each year, which broadly aims to advance the human rights of persons with Down syndrome and disabilities, utilising the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and other human rights instruments. For further information on the UN CRPD visit the UN Disabilities website



2012 – “Building Our Future”

2013 – “Right To Work”

2014 – “Health and Well-being – Access and Equality for All”

2015 – “My Opportunities, My Choices” – Enjoying Full and Equal Rights and the Role of Families

2016 – “My Friends, My Community” – The benefits of inclusive environments for today’s children and tomorrow’s adults

2017 – “My Voice My Community” – Enabling people with Down syndrome to speak up, be heard and influence government policy and action, to be fully included in the community

2018 – “What I Bring To My Community”

2019 – “Leave No One Behind”

2020 – “We Decide”


World Down Syndrome Day event at United Nations in Geneva


In March 2017 we organised the first WDSD event at United Nations in Geneva; this too has become an annual event in the UN calendar.


In Geneva we support self-advocates with Down syndrome to speak in front of delegates including Ambassadors and other representatives from country missions to the UN, policy makers and civil society organisations (CSO’s).


The event is usually a side-event to one of the key sessions happening at the UN, which have included the Human Rights Council and country reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.



World Down Syndrome Day Conference 2020

For WDSD 2020 DSi will present the World Down Syndrome Day @ United Nations 2020 virtual event


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