Earlier today, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution committing the international community to offering greater eye care resources in support of the 1.1 billion people who will have preventable sight loss by 2030. This agreement is the first of its kind to make its way through the United Nations, highlighting eye health as one of the organization’s Sustainable Development Goals, according to a press release issued by the Vision Council.

The resolution was passed unanimously by all 193 countries that are members of the United Nations. Its aim is to offer unrestricted access to eye care services throughout the world by 2030 and to provide financial aid to developing countries so all are able to partake in this endeavor. No additional details on implementation were released.

“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,” commented Aubrey Webson, UN representative for Antigua and Barbuda and founding co-chair of the United Nations Friends of Vision, in the press release. 

Committing resources to help treat patients suffering from visual shortcomings could make a world of difference in their lives, highlighting the significance of this resolution. “Preventable sight loss is a global challenge that needs a global solution—and that is what we have agreed today,” said Rabab Fatima, Bangladesh’s US representative and Friends of Vision co-chair.

If this initiative is to come to fruition, however, governments and international institutions must act now, the press release states.