7th General Assembly of the World Blind Union

Image source: D. Brennan, www.leapinfo.org
Image source: D. Brennan, www.leapinfo.org

Project at a glance

Dates and Place

15 - 23 August 2008, Geneva, Switzerland
International Conference Centre (ICCG)


Federation Suisse des Aveugles et Malvoyants (FSA) (Swiss Federation for the Blind and Visually Impaired), in partnership with l'Union Suisse des Aveugles (USA), l'Union Centrale Suisse pour le Bien des Aveugles (UCBA), Retina Suisse and l'Association pour le Bien des Aveugles et Malvoyants (ABA). H.E. Ms. Micheline Calmy-Rey, Swiss Federal Councillor, is the Patron of the Event.


Delegates of all the Member States of the World Blind Union (approx. 500), as well as of the WBU and the international organizations, participants of the World Blind Women' s Forum (approx. 300), observers, visitors to the exhibition of assistive technology for the blind, visually impaired and deaf "Info Vision 08" (with approximately 75 exhibitors), interested individuals and professionals coming mainly from Switzerland and surrounding (potential of 4000 members coming from the various sections of the FSA plus the members of partner organizations).

Project details

The General Assembly of the World Blind Union (WBU) is held every four years. The next such Assembly will take place in Geneva in August 2008.

The World Blind Union (WBU)

The World Blind Union (WBU) is a non-political, non-religious, non-governmental and non-profit-making organization, representing 162 million blind and visually impaired people from about 600 organizations in 158 countries around the world. WBU is divided into six regions with constitutions of their own. Together the regions form the World Blind Union.

WBU's goal is to promote the independence of blind and visually impaired persons and to increase their quality of life, ensuring their entitlement to personal dignity and fundamental human rights.

SLOGAN: "Being Blind in the World - Equality and Diversity"

The Slogan of the congress encompasses the important objectives of the organizations involved in the mutual aid for the blind and visually impaired: highlighting their problems, emphasizing equal treatment and good quality of life, in the light of diversity.

The underlying idea of the World Blind Union is that everyone, including the blind and partially sighted, is born equal and entitled to personal dignity and fundamental human rights.

These rights should be given fully and without restriction regardless of disability, race, colour, gender, language, religion, political opinion, national or social origin, birth or other status. Furthermore, no restriction of any kind should be made on the basis of the political, judicial or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs.

On the basis of these fundamental rights, the WBU has the following purposes and goals to:

  • promote prevention and treatment of blindness;
  • advance the well-being of blind and partially sighted people all over the world, particularly in developing countries;
  • take actions against the high prevalence of poverty among people who are blind or partially sighted;
  • develop close contacts and co-operation between the WBU and the UN and its Agencies to make sure that the needs of blind and partially sighted people are put on their agendas;
  • discuss literacy issues and the training of blind and partially sighted children and adults with the UNESCO and the WHO and ensure that children and adults who are blind or partially sighted are given the right to education and rehabilitation;
  • strengthen the self-awareness of blind and partially sighted people and develop our personality, self-respect and sense of responsibility;
  • provide an international forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of blindness;
  • take action against the negative attitudes and discrimination shown to blind women worldwide. A double discrimination preventing blind women from participating in society at all levels and enjoying the freedom of choice.

The General Assembly will include presentations of the reports from the various countries, elections to the WBU committee, and several workshops of different themes. The program aiming at eliminating blindness related to poverty (Vision 2020) and the problem from blindness in the children will occupy a particularly important place within the conference.

External links


Volunteering Opportunities

ICVolunteers is looking for 300 voluntees to help with many different aspects of the event, but in particular the accompanying of blind and visually impaired.

Short Term Projects

ICVolunteers promotes volunteerism and its recognition, by enhancing civic commitment and involvement, and by providing leadership and links between organizations, individuals and communities. With this perspective, ICVolunteers develops projects and leads initiatives.

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