First Forum on the theme Vision and development: changing our viewIn observance of World Sight Day 2004, Essilor International and UNESCO are organizing the First Forum on the theme “Vision and development: changing our view”, to be held on October 21 at UNESCO Headquarters (Room II). It will bring together professionals from the social and medical sectors, civil society actors and artists from several countries* to discuss the role of sight in learning and socialization.
Leslie Asch Guillon, Institutional and Internal Communication Director, Essilor International, tel: 01 49 77 42 15 / 06 63 12 50 84 ; fax: 01 49 77 45 30, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Forum, which will be opened (at 2 p.m.) by UNESCO Assistant Director-General Françoise Rivière and Essilor Chief Executive Officer Xavier Fontanet and moderated by Karine Brun of the French NGO Bridge Initiative, features three workshops.
“Sight and education for all” (How to counter visual deficiencies to advance towards education for all) is the subject of the first workshop, concentrating on the medical aspects of the correlation between sight and education. The second workshop – “Facilitating access to care” – will tackle the economic, social and political aspects of the challenge of Promoting equal opportunity in education for all. The third workshop, on cultural issues, will be attended by artists who will discuss “How looking impacts the way we relate to the world.” Participants will seek to answer the question How can educating our visual perception help us advance towards education for all.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 35 million people suffer from impaired vision necessitating treatment. Visual disabilities can be at the root of serious discrimination, all too often unrecognized.
Coinciding with the Forum, the Brazilian NGO “Olhares do Morro” is staging an exhibition of photographs by young favela inhabitants at UNESCO (October 19 to 29, Pas Perdus Hall,). The project has initiated a “collective strategy of visual affirmation” for the favelas. It provides young people in the favelas with training in the visual professions helping them show the world an image that is more positive than that of the media, which generally highlight their poverty and violence.
* Algeria, Brazil, France, India, South Africa, Spain, United States of America
Journalists wishing to cover the event must obtain accreditation from:
Isabelle Le Fournis, UNESCO Press Relations Section, tel. 01 45 68 17 48 / fax 01 45 68 56 52