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UN Adopts 1st Resolution on Vision – ‘Vision for Everyone’ to Help 1.1 billion

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On July 23, 2021, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a new first-ever resolution on vision named ‘Vision for Everyone’ to make eye care services an integral part of universal health coverage and address the increasing impact of vision loss on sustainable development.

  • Objective: To provide eye care service for at least 1.1 billion people with vision impairment by 2030, especially those who lack eye service.
  • Background: The resolution – ‘Vision for Everyone: accelerating action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)’ was introduced by Bangladesh’s U.N. Ambassador Rabab Fatima and proposed by Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh and Ireland to the UN General Assembly.
  • The resolution was co-sponsored by over 100 countries and adopted by consensus by the UN) General Assembly.

Current Status of Vision Impairment:

i.The International Classification of Diseases 11 (2018) classifies vision impairment into two groups such as distance and near presenting vision impairment.

ii.Limited Access: Globally, over 2 billion people are living with vision impairment/ blindness and at least 1.1 billion people are living with vision loss due to the limited access to proper vision care for conditions like short and far-sightedness, glaucoma and cataract.

  • 90 percent of those 1.1 billion people with vision loss live in low- and middle-income countries and 55 percent of them are women and girls.

iii.Economic Loss: On average, the vision impairment is estimated to cost a productivity loss of around USD411 billion each year.

The UN expects half of the global population (especially low- and middle-income countries) to be living with vision impairment by 2050.

Key points:

i.The UN General Assembly required its 193 Member nations to provide access to eye care for everyone in their countries by including eye care with their national health services including at the primary health care level.

ii.The resolution would assist the Member States to achieve SDG 3Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Note – In August 2020, the 73rd World Health Assembly adopted a resolution, entitled ‘Integrated people-centred eye care, including preventable vision impairment and blindness’ to make eye care an integral part of universal health coverage.

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About United Nations General Assembly:

It occupies a central position as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UNs.

Establishment – 1945 under the Charter of the UN
Headquarters – New York, USA
President – Volkan Bozkır (Turkey)
Members – 193