Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition, being universally present across racial, gender or socio-economic lines, and affecting approximately 1 in 800 live births, although there is considerable variation worldwide. Down syndrome usually causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and associated medical issues.
World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) was first observed in 2006 in many countries around the world and Down Syndrome Association Singapore launched and hosted the World Down Syndrome Day website from 2006-2010, on behalf of Down Syndrome International, for global activities to be recorded. On 19 December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day (A/RES/66/149).
The General Assembly decided to "designate 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day, to be observed every year beginning in 2012;" and "invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non- governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome;".
The Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon said on 21 March 2012 "On this day, let us reaffirm that persons with Down syndrome are entitled to the full and effective enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Let us each do our part to enable children and persons with Down syndrome to
participate fully in the development and life of their societies on an equal basis with others. Let us build an inclusive society for all."