Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen reiterated
Bangladesh's commitment to ensure maximum use of the talents of People with
Autism and their full participation in the society.
"We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that over 75 million autistic people
in the world can make the most of their talents and participate fully in our
societies," he said at the United Nations (UN) in New York on Thursday,
according to a message received here today.
He was delivering his opening remarks at an virtual event on World Autism
Awareness Day-2022 organised by the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh and the
State of Qatar to the UN in collaboration with the World Health Organization
and Autism Speaks.
Dr. Momen shared good practices from Bangladesh in supporting children with
autism and their families during the pandemic, including through targeted
support measures and use of ICTs.
During the Covid-19, he said, the children with autism and their families
suffered disproportionately due to disruptions in their education and
However, he said, the existing social support system, strong ICT
infrastructure and robust community-based health services in Bangladesh
helped many families to cope up with the challenges.
Referring to the increased awareness on autism in Bangladesh, the foreign
minister said, various stakeholders, ministries and departments have worked
together to mitigate the challenges and stigma faced by the persons with
Various initiatives undertaken by the current government such as 'Rights and
Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act 2013' and 'Neuro-development
Trust Act 2013', he mentioned.
"Our government has been promoting a 'culture of innovation' to take
advantage of the assistive tools and technologies. 'Digital Bangladesh'
initiative has opened a new era in extending disability inclusive e-service,
webs and other ICT-based services", he continued.
Dr. Momen further mentioned about the guidance of directives given by Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina for mainstreaming all children with special needs in
Bangladesh to explore their hidden talents.
He also acknowledged with appreciation the extraordinary role played by Saima
Wazed, chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Autism and Neuro-
developmental Disorder, Bangladesh and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in
South-East Asia Region, to raise awareness on autism in Bangladesh and south
He hoped that society can change to allow autistic people to live their best
life and use of inclusive digital technology could be a starting point
towards that end.
Along with Bangladesh's Foreign Minister, Qatar's Social Development and
Family minister Mariam bint Ali bin Nasser Al-Misnad, Under-Secretary-General
for Global communications at the UN Melissa Fleming and Director of WHO
Office in New York Werner Obermeyer also spoke in the opening segment.
Distinguished panelists from different parts of the world including parents
of persons with autism spoke at the Panel Discussion segment.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)