The United Nations General Assembly has passed its first resolution on vision, with the goal of preventing avoidable blindness and incorporating eye health into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The resolution, according to the United Nations Friends of Vision Group and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), sets targets for ‘vision for everyone by 2030, calling on countries to ensure full access to eye care services and to make eye health “integral” to their countries’ commitments to achieving development goals.
The resolution calls for the UN to include eye care in its activities, including through UNICEF and UN-Women, and for new eye care targets to be added to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals at their next review.
Meanwhile, international financial institutions and donors are being urged to offer targeted funding, particularly to assist developing nations in combating avoidable blindness.
“Global eye care needs are projected to increase substantially, with half of the global population expected to be living with a vision impairment by 2050,” the resolution states, adding that “at least two billion people are living with vision impairment or blindness, and 1.1 billion people have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or is yet to be addressed”.
According to the UN Friends of Vision and the IAPB, the strategy might mean that by 2030, the 1.1 billion individuals worldwide who are blind due to preventable causes will have access to support and treatment.