UN special envoy on vision

February 15, 2023 Staff reporters

Sixty-three countries have written to the United Nation’s secretary-general António Guterres, calling on him to appoint a UN special envoy on vision.  


The envoy would build on the significant momentum developed around eye health over the past three years, wrote country leaders, and become a global advocate to lead the implementation of the 2021 UN resolution on ‘Vision for Everyone’, coordinating with relevant UN agencies, including the World Health Organisation, and mobilising action at a national level. Penned from leaders in countries including Nigeria, India, the United Kingdom, China and Australia, the letter also said, “This is an opportunity to ensure all people around the world have equitable access to eye health and to tackle a development issue which can be solved this decade.” 


To coincide with the letter from UN member states, over 150 CEOs and leaders of eye health organisations around the world have also written to the secretary-general to support the establishment of a special envoy on vision. Co-ordinated by the eye health umbrella body, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, and signed by professional bodies, corporate sector and non-governmental organisations and others, it said: “Opportunities to spark generational-level change are rare. It requires the right global commitment, strong government and community support, a clear pathway forward and the right leadership to guide the way. For vision, that moment has arrived.”