(London, UK) The first ever World Autism Awareness Day has been declared by the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The idea was promoted by the State of Qatar who worked hard to make World Autism Day a reality – this historic day will take place on Wednesday 2nd April 2008.

Autism campaigners around the globe have welcomed the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day as it is an ideal opportunity to lobby world leaders on providing public services in education, health, specialist speech therapy and respite care for all people with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, it also provides a platform for people to raise funds for autism organisations and parents groups in every country and to organise awareness raising events.

In the United Kingdom campaigners are calling on Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown to make a statement on autism on World Autism Awareness Day. Mr. Brown is being urged to support a national strategy on autism in the United Kingdom and a 10 year plan on autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Ivan Corea, Head of the Autism Awareness Campaign UK said: ‘I congratulate the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations General Assembly and the state of Qatar for spearheading this – this is history in the making, World Autism Day will focus attention onto the needs of 60 million people with autism around the world – I appeal to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and United Nations agencies such as UNICEF and the UNDP to reach out to so many families with autism below the poverty line in the Third World, children with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are struggling without the basic human right to an education, to health, specialist speech therapy and respire care. I call upon the UN Secretary-General to organise a UN Conference on Autism in 2009 and connect with world leaders on the subject of Autism and Public Services. The Autism Awareness Campaign UK is urging the United Nations to launch a World Autism Strategy. People with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome around the world desperately need help. Due to reasons of culture some children with autism are kept at home, sometimes autism is also confused with mental illness – every child with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome deserves a world class education – some are not receiving an education at all.’

On the 2nd of April the United Nations will mark World Autism Awareness Day in the General Assembly, a United Nations report is scheduled to be released after the event.

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