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Published: 14.10.2021
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To mark World Sight Day key UN diplomats have joined together with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and Global World Sight Day Partner OneSight for a special sight screening. Following on from a landmark UN Resolution “Vision for Everyone; accelerating action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” earlier this year. UN Friends of Vision co-chair H.E. Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations is getting her own sight tested on World Sight Day.

“On World Sight Day, Ireland’s message is that eye health has the power to unlock human potential. We know that poor eye health is both a cause of and effect of inequality for women, children, older people and those with disabilities. We know that giving a child eye glasses can dramatically impact on the quality of education they can access. We know that eye health directly impacts the ability of many to access decent work, and contribute to economic growth.

Ireland is proud to be a Co-Chair of the UN Group of Friends of Vision here in New York along with Antigua and Barbuda and Bangladesh. The Vision for Everyone Resolution was adopted in New York in the UN General Assembly this year with the co-sponsorship of 115 UN Member States. This resolution highlighted that eye health is not only an important discussion in the field of health, but is also highly relevant to achieving gender equality, quality education, zero hunger, and economic growth.” – Ambassador Byrne Nason.

Speaking to mark World Sight Day H.E. Ambassador Aubrey Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations and founding co-chair of the UN Friends of Vision group said “Almost everyone on the planet will experience an eye health issue in their lifetime. Yet more than a billion people worldwide living with sight loss because they don’t have access to the eye care they need.

“To address the bigger picture at the country and global level, we want everyone to be aware of our own eye health. Eye health impacts education, employment, quality of life, poverty and so many other Sustainable Development Goals.

“This World Sight Day we want organisations and the public to come together to encourage governments, corporations, institutions, and individuals to actively support universal access to eye health as the UN showed earlier this year with the passing of the first resolution on UN vision. Together we can ensure that everyone counts.”

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