UN adopts first resolution on vision, aims to help 1 billion

Jul 23, 2021, 5:18 PM | Updated: Jul 24, 2021, 3:00 pm

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly approved its first-ever resolution on vision, calling on its 193 member nations to ensure access to eye care for everyone in their countries which would contribute to a global effort to help at least 1.1 billion people with vision impairment who currently lack eye services by 2030.

The “Vision for Everyone” resolution, sponsored by Bangladesh, Antigua and Ireland, and co-sponsored by over 100 countries, was adopted Friday by consensus by the world body.

It encourages countries to institute a “whole of government approach to eye care.” And it calls on international financial institutions and donors to provide targeted financing, especially for developing countries, to address the increasing impact of vision loss on economic and social development.

According to the resolution, “at least 2 billion people are living with vision impairment or blindness and 1.1 billion people have vision impairment that could have been prevented or is yet to be addressed.”

“Global eye care needs are projected to increase substantially, with half the global population expected to be living with a vision impairment by 2050,” the resolution says.

Bangladesh’s U.N. Ambassador Rabab Fatima introduced the resolution, stressing its first-ever focus on vision, and calling it “a long overdue recognition of the central role that healthy vision plays in human life and for sustainable development.”

She said over 90% of the 1.1 billion people worldwide with vision loss live in low- and middle-income countries, adding that 55% of blind people are women and girls.

On average, the loss of sight costs the global economy “a staggering amount of $411 billion in productivity each year,” Fatima said. And access to eye care services can increase household spending per capital by 88% “and the odds of obtaining paid employment by 10%.”

While General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, they do reflect global opinion.

Fatima said it was critical for the assembly to convey the U.N.’s “unequivocal commitment to ensure proper eye care facilities for everyone, everywhere, to prevent conditions which can lead to serious and permanent damages.”

She called the resolution an “opportunity to change the lives of millions who are living in blindness or with impaired vision.”

The resolution stresses that access to eye care is essential to achieve U.N. goals for 2030 to end poverty and hunger, ensure healthy lives and quality education, and reduce inequality.

It calls on all nations to mobilize resources and support to ensure eye care for all people in their countries, in order to reach at least 1.1 billion people worldwide “who have a vision impairment and currently do not have access to the eye care services that they need” by 2030.

Hong Kong philanthropist James Chen, founder of the Clearly campaign to promote global vision who campaigned for the resolution for the past two decades, called it “a significant milestone” and “a critical preliminary step” to achieving the U.N. goals.

“The first step, now, is to ensure governments follow up on their commitment to action,” and “regard vision correction as essential healthcare, alongside other priorities like family planning and infant immunization,” he said in a statement to The Associated Press.

With that kind of engagement from governments and non-governmental organizations, “glasses are affordable, and their distribution is solvable,” and the ambitious U.N. 2030 deadline can be met, said Chen, who is chairman of the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Residents go about their life with some shops re-opening for business as restrictions are eased in ...
Associated Press

China reports 2 new COVID deaths as some restrictions eased

HONG KONG (AP) — China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions following increasingly vocal public frustrations. The National Health Commission said one death was reported each in the provinces of Shandong and Sichuan. No information was given about the ages of the victims or […]
2 hours ago
Associated Press

State news: Iran executed 4 people it says spied for Israel

CAIRO (AP) — Iranian authorities executed four people Sunday accused of working for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, the state-run IRNA news agency said. Three others received lengthy prison sentences. IRNA said the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard announced the arrests of a network of people linked to the Israeli agency. It said the members had previous […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History: December 4, the “Million Dollar Quartet”

Today in History Today is Sunday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2022. There are 27 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Dec. 4, 1956, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins gathered for the first and only time for a jam session at Sun Records in Memphis. […]
1 day ago
A Palestinian flag and a poster showing Ammar Adili, 22, who was shot and killed by an Israeli bord...
Associated Press

Palestinians say killing caught on video was unjustified

HAWARA, West Bank (AP) — A makeshift sidewalk memorial with a Palestinian flag and a mourning notice paid tribute Saturday to a 22-year-old Palestinian whose death at the hands of an Israeli border police officer — four pistol shots from close range — was captured on widely shared amateur video. A day after the shooting […]
1 day ago
FILE - A flu vaccine is readied at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans...
Associated Press

Flu season worsens as 44 states report high activity

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. flu season keeps getting worse. Health officials said Friday that 7.5% of outpatient medical visits last week were due to flu-like illnesses. That’s as high as the peak of the 2017-18 flu season and higher than any season since. The annual winter flu season usually doesn’t get going until […]
1 day ago
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin introduces the B-21 Raider stealth at Northrop Grumman Friday, De...
Associated Press

Keep COVID military vaccine mandate, defense chief says

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he wants to keep the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place to protect the health of the troops, as Republican governors and lawmakers press to rescind it. This past week more than 20 Republican governors sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
UN adopts first resolution on vision, aims to help 1 billion