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Message from the WBU in honour of ECOSOC’s 70th Anniversary

January 20, 2016: The World Blind Union is pleased to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Council was one of the principal bodies (alongside the UN Secretariat) originally concerned with disability issues, and it has worked hard to keep disability at the forefront of the UN agenda ever since. ECOSOC’s successes in the area of disability rights are too numerous to list, however, we put together a list of highlights of ECOSOC’s achievements that have positively impacted on the equality, inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities (PwD) globally:
  • 1975 – Adoption of resolution 1921 dealing with disability prevention and rehabilitation of PwD
  • The 1990s – Adoption of resolutions on children with disabilities, equalization of opportunities for PwD and strengthening regional support for PwD into the 21st century
  •  2006 – Supported the creation of the CRPD, the main instrument for providing basic human rights to PwD around the world (to learn more, please visit our website at:
  •  2010-2015 – Successfully mainstreamed disability in the development agenda and helped to ensure inclusion of PwD in the Sustainable Development Goals
  • 2013 – Supported the creation of the Marrakesh Treaty, which will allow for published materials to be reproduced in accessible formats and then shared across borders, benefiting blind and print disabled persons all over the world by addressing the “book famine” (to learn more, please visit our website at:
The President of ECOSOC has organized a special high-level meeting on Friday 22 January 2016 that will “honour ECOSOC's history in promoting social progress and development while looking ahead to its role in achieving the SDGs and related commitments.” NGOs in active consultative status with ECOSOC are invited to join the proceedings. You can find out more at the following link:

The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization representing the estimated 285 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. Members consist of organizations run by blind people advocating on their own behalf and organizations that serve the blind, in over 190 countries, as well as international organizations working in the field of vision impairment.

or further information, contact:
World Blind Union
Caitlin Reid  
Communications Coordinator