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SDGs set new global agenda for eye health and vision care

MEDIA RELEASE 

Vision 2020 Australia welcomes the Australian Government’s commitment to a new agenda for sustainable development over the next 15 years.

In a highly anticipated event, world leaders gathered on Friday at the United Nations in New York to endorse the very ambitious agenda to alleviate poverty and inequality.

“This marks a significant commitment from the Australian Government to transform our approach to development and strengthen our commitment to equality both in Australia and abroad,” Vision 2020 Australia CEO, Jennifer Gersbeck said.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, was among the delegation in New York. She praised the new agenda, pledging Australia’s commitment towards a true global partnership. 

Unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which only applied to developing countries, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will apply to all countries, including Australia.

With a pledge to leave no one behind, the new goals will succeed and build upon the work of the MDGs set to expire this year.

“There is ample opportunity within the post-2015 development agenda to make gains in eye health,” she said.

Importantly the targets make reference to neglected tropical diseases and universal health coverage, a sign of progression from the previous silo view of health.

In a win for the eye health and vision care sector, the SDGs make reference to disability several times.  

“Given the MDGs made no reference to disability this is an achievement in itself, representing a real opportunity for the inclusion of people who are blind or vision impaired,” she said.

Ms Gersbeck praised the SDGs as an important tool set to inform the advocacy work of Vision 2020 Australia and its members. 

“It will be crucial that governments gather robust data, monitor and report annually and ensure clear accountability to guarantee that the rhetoric of the SDGs is transformed into reality,” she said.

For more information please refer to Eye health, vision care and the Sustainable Development Goals: a reference document.

ENDS

Media Contact

Louise Rudzki, Vision 2020 Australia, (03) 9656 2020, 0414 784 359, lrudzki@vision2020australia.org.au

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