Operation Eyesight applauds the international community’s commitment to eye care for all by 2030

July 27, 2021 – Operation Eyesight applauds the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution: Vision for Everyone – Accelerating Action to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The resolution (A/75/L.108) was unanimously adopted by all 193 countries of the United Nations on July 23, 2021, committing the international community to eye care for the 1.1 billion people living with avoidable blindness by 2030.

Sight loss is calculated to cost the global economy $411 billion in productivity each year.

The resolution is the first agreement designed to tackle preventable sight loss to be adopted by the United Nations and enshrines eye health as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It sets a target for vision for everyone by 2030, with countries set to ensure full access to eye care services for their populations, and to make eye health part of their nation’s journey to achieving the SDGs.

“This is a historic moment in global eye health, as the gift of sight is now within reach for the 1.1 billion children, women and men living with avoidable blindness,” said Kashinath Bhoosnurmath, President & CEO of Operation Eyesight. “I’d like to congratulate my colleagues in the eye health sector on this significant milestone. All of us at Operation Eyesight are committed to working with our partners and donors to implement this resolution to provide eye care for all.”

The resolution creates new expectations for international financial institutions and donors to provide targeted finances, especially to support developing countries in tackling preventable sight loss, and for the United Nations to incorporate eye health into its work, including through UNICEF and UN-Women. It calls for new targets on eye care to be included in the UN’s SDGs at its next review.

The plan will mean that by 2030, the 1.1 billion people globally living with sight loss, will have access to support and treatment – but, campaigners say, only if governments and international institutions act now to fulfil their new commitments.

The resolution was championed by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, of which Operation Eyesight is a longstanding member, and the UN Friends of Vision group.

Peter Holland, CEO of the IAPB, said: “The eye health sector has believed for a long time that quality eye health is critical to the world achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and this resolution is testament to a lot of hard work.” He added, “IAPB’s members will now work tirelessly to support governments to enact this resolution and hold governments to account to ensure that no one is left behind”.

H.E. Ambassador Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations and co-chair of the Friends of Vision, said: “The adoption of [the] resolution on vision is a watershed moment in global efforts for vision care. We were honoured and pleased to lead this resolution together with fellow Friends of Vision Co-Chairs, Antigua and Barbuda and Ireland.”

To learn how Operation Eyesight’s mission to prevent blindness and restore sight is helping to achieve the SDGs, visit https://operationeyesight.com/sustainable-development-goals/

Eye health stats retrieved from: https://www.iapb.org/learn/vision-atlas/