John Cronin, an entrepreneur with Down syndrome, took to the world stage on March 21 as he spoke at the United Nations for World Down Syndrome Day. John brought his message of inclusion and showing what people with differing abilities can do as he and his partner and father, Mark X. Cronin, served as speakers and moderators during the event, sponsored by the United Nations and Down Syndrome International. John is the founder of John’s Crazy Socks, the world’s largest sock store.
“I loved speaking at the United Nations,” said John Cronin. “I spoke to people from around the world and met many amazing self-advocates.”
This was the second time that John has spoken at the United Nations. He previously spoke at a conference on entrepreneurism and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
2023 World Down Syndrome Day Conference at the United Nations
The theme for the 2023 World Down Syndrome Day Conference was “With Us, Not For Us” and featured speakers and guests from around the world. Ambassador Krzysztof Szczerski, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Poland to the United Nations and Magosaki Kaoru, Minister for Social Affairs with the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations welcomed the attendees. Doctor Liam Fox, a Member of the UK Parliament, set the tone by outlining the many policy advances made in the United Kingdom to protect the rights of people with differing abilities. And Kandi Pickard, the CEO and President of the National Down Syndrome Society, spoke of the many advances in U.S. public policy as well as the issues we still need to address.
The Conference consisted of three sessions:
1. Understanding the Right to Legal Capacity
2. Good Practices in Supported Decision Making
3. Easy to