New York, NY, USA (Press Secretary, PMO) – Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis Hon. Dr. Terrance M. Drew, began his first day at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), at the United Nations Friends of Vision Summit Breakfast, underlining his commitment to global initiatives promoting eye health and visual well-being.
The Friends of Vision group of the United Nations Member States consists of country representatives from more than 50 countries and is chaired by Ambassador Aubrey Webson of Antigua and Barbuda, Ambassador Rabab Fatima of Bangladesh, and Ambassador Byrne Nason of Ireland.
The group is aimed at advancing access to quality eye care, preventing avoidable blindness, and promoting visual health worldwide. This coalition brings together governments, organizations, and leaders from various sectors to champion the cause of vision care, recognizing its profound impact on sustainable development and quality of life.
The attendees were given heart-shaped cardboard sunglasses, symbolizing the organization’s heartfelt commitment to the cause.
In delivering his remarks, Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew, who has consistently championed healthcare accessibility, emphasized the significance of global cooperation in addressing visual health challenges.
” As Prime Minister Browne pointed out, the world faces many complex and difficult challenges. Small Island Developing States are often on the front lines. Vulnerable groups such as the blind and other differently abled, disproportionately bear the impacts of our collective failure to invest in frameworks and projects that would provide them with the skills to lead an independent life and to go even beyond that, to develop and advance their education to the professional level” he stated.
Dr. Drew further highlighted the transformative potential of vision care in driving progress in his Federation’s Sustainable Island State agenda.
“Saint Kitts and Nevis, as part of its vision to become a Sustainable Island State and its commitment to Leaving No One Behind, intends, under the auspices of the Disability Services Unit put in place by the new Ministry of the Elderly and Disabled, will raise the profile of people living with these types of disabilities. We welcome partnerships that would allow for the teaching of Braille as part of our Special Education curriculum, that would allow our blind to develop professional careers and to aspire to positions such as becoming a Permanent Representative to the United Nations”, said Prime Minister Drew.
The UN Friends of Vision Summit Breakfast provided a platform for leaders to exchange ideas, discuss innovative approaches, and mobilize resources to advance eye health globally. Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew’s participation signals his dedication to collaborative, multilateral efforts that drive positive change on a global scale.
Scenes from the UN Friends of Vision Summit Breakfast: