A message from H.E. Ronaldo Costa Filho, Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Brazil to the UN:

"On this World Down Syndrome Day, Brazil is honoured to once again co-sponsor this event, which helps to raise awareness about the challenges faced by persons with Down syndrome. It is our hope that this year’s event will shed further light on the importance of building societies that fully incorporate the unique perspective of people with Down Syndrome into their public policy planning.

According to the UN Declaration on the Rights of People with Disabilities, persons with Down syndrome have the same basic human rights and civil liberties as other members of the community. Yet, the challenge of having them fully integrated in society remains significant. This is why events like this are so important. They represent a call to action for States to strive and implement mechanisms to include persons with Down Syndrome in matters that affect them.

In order to ensure participation of persons with Down syndrome in the decision making process, a call to advocacy is also needed. Full integration will require society as a whole to engage in eradicating the stigma often associated with Down syndrome. Only by celebrating their cultural and economic contributions to society will adequate representation of persons with Down syndrome become the new normal."

Speaker biography

Ambassador Ronaldo Costa was born in 1960 and graduated in Diplomacy at the Instituto Rio Branco in 1987. He was Director of the Extra-Regional Trade Negotiations Department, when he acted as Chief Negotiator for the Association Agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. He was also advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Head of the Division for European Union and Extra Regional Negotiations and Head of the Division for Services, Investments and Financial Matters, when he acted as Chief Negotiator for services during the WTO’s Doha Round. In his career abroad, he was posted to the Embassy of Brazil in Quito; the Brazilian Delegation to the UN, in New York; the Delegation of Brazil to the WTO, in Geneva; and the Brazilian Delegation to the EU, in Brussels.

Since February 2018, he has been Undersecretary-General for Economic and Financial Affairs and Sherpa of Brazil to the G20. He is responsible for overseeing Brazil’s participation in economic and financial international organizations such as the WTO, the OCDE and UNCTAD; trade negotiations between Mercosur and extra-regional partners; and bilateral economic and financial discussions. 

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