“An eye test for a child can be the difference between inclusion and or exclusion; A pair of prescription glasses, the difference between access to information and seeking a livelihood and not. Corrective eye treatment, the difference between improved sight and total loss of sight. The gift of sight for the 1.1 billion people living with preventable sight loss is within reach if we ensure world leaders deliver on this moment.” W. Aubrey Webson – Ambassador to the United Nations
The resolution was unanimously adopted by all 193 countries of the United Nations on 23 July 2021.
It is the first agreement designed to tackle preventable sight loss to be adopted at the United Nations and enshrines eye health as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
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 care through its work, including with UNICEF and UN-Women.
The resolution sets a target for eye care for all by 2030 – with countries set to ensure full access to eye care services for their populations, and, to support global efforts, to make eye care part of their nation’s journey to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
What are the key actions?
Adopt a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to eye health and link vision to other development priorities.
Increase funding for eye health, especially for developing countries, and to build an international campaign on eye health.
Promote and include eye health in the programme of work to achieve the SDGs.
Coordinate and follow-up on the implementation of the resolution and to report back to the UN General Assembly.
Work with national governments to achieve ‘Vision for Everyone’.
How will we ensure progress?
The resolution provides two mechanisms for monitoring global progress on the resolution:
Targets: The United Nations Inter-Agency Expert Group will consider including two new targets on eye health in the global indicator framework for the Sustainable Development Goals in 2025.
Reporting: Countries will need to report on their progress on eye health as part of their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) presented at the High-Level Political Forum (the main reporting mechanism for the SDGs).