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IAPB is thrilled to announce the successful inclusion of eye health in the Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting on Improving Global Road Safety “The 2030 horizon for road safety: securing a decade of action and delivery.” The declaration specifically calls on governments to ensure that road infrastructure improvements and investments are guided by an integrated road safety approach that takes into account the connection between road safety and visual impairment.
In 2020, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/74/299 Improving Global Road Safety in which governments proclaimed the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, established a target of reducing by at least 50%, the number of road traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030 and called for a High-level Meeting (HLM) on Road Safety in 2022.
A near completed draft of the declaration that originally included a similar statement on eye health was discarded due to political tensions around the role of Russia as a co-facilitator. The chances for inclusion were dimmed following particularly challenging pushback at the start of renegotiations. It remained unclear if our concerted efforts for inclusion were successful until the start of the High-Level Meeting, when the final text was brought before the General Assembly and formally adopted.
The assumption of good vision, necessary to safely operate a vehicle, has long caused uncorrected vision to be overlooked as a factor in road safety. Vision was not included in the 2020 resolution on road safety and did not feature in the Road Safety Tool Kit.
However, over the past year the eye sector, with the support of the UN Friends of Vision group, has established a strong and credible voice in UN political processes that is resulting in extraordinary and rapid achievements. Inclusion in the Political Declaration on Global Road Safety gives the eye health sector a strong basis for advocating for vision’s inclusion across all global and national road safety policies and advances our objective to embed vision across the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Image on top: Our roads are deadly. The problem of uncorrected vision puts the lives of drivers and passengers in danger. Access to eyeglasses can make roads safer for everyone. Pic Credit: Sandeep Biswas