Press Release 21 April, 2017
The International Conference on Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders came to a close with the adoption of Thimphu Declaration. The Declaration reaffirmed the commitment of the countries in the South East Asia ( SEA) region to tackle autism and other forms of disabilities through a whole of government and whole of society approach, which includes the need to emphasis on health, education, social services (by the activation of the civil societies), and governance through disability friendly policies.
The declaration also invoked the will of the SEA countries to combat social stigma towards the affected, and also strengthen the management and information system on autism and other neuro-developmental disorders. The declaration called upon policy makers, academicians, CSOs, NGOs, the private sector and the media to join hands in addressing autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Finally, it solicited support from the UNO, WHO and other multilateral and bilateral partners in achieving the intentions of the declaration.
Furthermore, during the morning sessions, the conference deliberated on the training opportunities and capacity building for People with Disabilities (PWD). The Panelist mostly focused on the importance of early identification and inclusive education through skills development of PWD.
The forum also deliberated on the regional and global best practices and evidence based management of people living with autism and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Acknowledging that a sound legal framework and governance system is key for global and national strategies to trickle down to daily programs and activities at the communities and grassroots, the forum also deliberated on the need and importance of rules, regulations and legislations, and the legal frameworks to protect the rights of PWDs and NDDs.