On World Autism Awareness Day, we speak out against discrimination, celebrate the diversity of our global community and strengthen our commitment to the full inclusion and participation of people with autism. Supporting them to achieve their full potential is a vital part of our efforts to uphold the core promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: to leave no one behind.This year’s observance underscores the importance of affordable assistive technologies to support people with autism to live independent lives and, indeed, to exercise their basic human rights. Around the world, there are still major barriers to accessing such technologies, including high costs, unavailability and a lack of awareness of their potential.
Last year, I launched a Strategy on New Technologies to ensure that new and emerging technologies are aligned with the values enshrined in the UN Charter, international law and human rights conventions, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. On World Autism Awareness Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to these values – which include equality, equity and inclusion – and to promoting the full participation of all people with autism, by ensuring that they have the necessary tools to exercise their rights and fundamental freedoms.