UNGA calls for ensuring global access to eye care, combating wildlife trafficking

Over 100 world leaders including PM Imran Khan to address UNGA's high-level debate next week

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 24 (APP):The United Nations General Assembly has adopted two draft resolutions aimed at ensuring global access to eye care and combat illicit trafficking in wildlife.

In taking that action on Friday, delegates called for international solidarity to capitalize on the connection between proper eye care and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to address the link between wildlife trafficking and financial crime that hinders realization of those development objectives.

The resolution titled “Vision for Everyone: accelerating action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” urged member states to ensure access to eye care services for their population and to mobilize the necessary resources and support in this regard, in order to contribute to global efforts to reach, by 2030, at least 1.1 billion people who have vision impairments and currently do not have access to the eye care services they need.

It further called upon Member States and other stakeholders to include persons with disabilities, including those with visual impairments, in all stages of policy making and decision-making, as well as to eliminate barriers and discrimination against persons with disabilities, in particular women and girls and those in vulnerable situations, in accessing support and health-care services on an equal basis with others.

The resolution encourages member states to put in place an integrated and whole-of-government approach to eye care, building synergies with other development priorities and strengthening their collaboration with academia, research institutions, the scientific community, civil society and the private sector, in order to improve safe and affordable access to eye care services.

It invites international financial institutions and donors to provide appropriate targeted finances, especially for developing countries, to address the increasing impact of vision loss on sustainable development and to build an international campaign on eye health toward the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals and leaving no one behind by 2030.

The resolution, titled “Tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife”, recognizes the economic, social and environmental impacts of illicit trafficking in wildlife, and emphasizes the importance of effective international cooperation among member states, relevant multilateral environmental agreements and international organizations.

It urges member states to reinforce their efforts and adopt effective measures to prevent and counter the serious problem of crimes that have an impact on the environment, conservation and biodiversity, such as illicit trafficking in wildlife and wildlife products.
The resolution urges member states to take decisive steps at the national level to prevent, combat and eradicate the illegal trade in wildlife, on the supply, transit and demand sides, including by strengthening their legislation and regulations.

It strongly encourages member states to cooperate at the bilateral, regional and international levels to prevent, combat and eradicate international illicit trafficking in wildlife and wildlife products.

The resolution encourages member states to enhance cooperation for the timely and cost-efficient repatriation of live illegally traded wildlife, and to enhance information-sharing among national and international authorities on the seizure of illegally traded wildlife and wildlife products in order to facilitate follow-up investigation and prosecution.

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