Let us celebrate diference

I would like to express my sincere support and pride for Aleksandar Matovski- Cako who represents the first Macedonian student with Down syndrome to share his life story in the UN headquarters in New York. 

As a President of the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly, I have always placed child development and education high on my priority agenda. My initiatives for bringing awareness for autism and Down syndrome to a global level have paved the way for the UN General Assembly to give voice and recognition to millions of children and adults around the world who are misunderstood, misrepresented and misdiagnosed. 

Many children with Down syndrome are sidelined. This occurs not because these children’s ability to communicate and relate is different from the norm. It’s not just because they may act in ways that we don’t understand. Beyond this, children with Down syndrome suffer discrimination and social stigmatization because mainstream society is sometimes too narrow-minded to accept difference. We must change such perceptions. 

Children are the most valuable asset for the future of this world. We must cherish them, we must give them an opportunity to shine and prosper and finally, we must support and encourage them. 

I send my dearest commends to our very own, Aleksandar Matovski, and to all the children around the world, whose bravery and uniqueness makes them beautiful, resolute and inspiring. 

22 March 2016