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UN General Assembly Adopts first Resolution on people living with rare diseases

On December 16, the UN General Assembly has formally adopted the UN Resolution on Addressing the Challenges of Persons Living with a Rare Disease and their Families. This is the first ever UN text to give full visibility to the over 300 million Persons Living with a Rare Disease (PLWRD) worldwide and calls for action to address the specific challenges faced by PLWRD and their families. 

This milestone is a manifestation of the genuine wish of the 300 million people living with a rare disease globally to be recognised, and a formal commitment of the 193 UN Member States, including the 27 European Union Member States, to support rare disease policies to promote and protect the rights of everyone living with a rare disease and their families.

Watch the official adoption here

The Resolution is co-sponsored by an unprecedented 54 countries and was adopted by consensus by all 193 UN Member States.

The document focuses on the importance of non-discrimination and the key pillars of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including health, access to education and decent work, reducing poverty, tackling gender inequality, and supporting participation in society.

This is a major shift in international policy which places the needs of PLWRD firmly on the agenda of the UN and its agencies (UNICEF, UN WOMEN, UNDP). Please visit the Resolution4Rare toolkit to spread the word and find visual elements in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.