Connecting Ophthalmologists from Around the World to Achieve Eye Health for Everyone

ICO Membership and Society Development


The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) represents the worlds ophthalmologists through official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO). The ICO is dedicated to expanding the global ophthalmology community through improving opportunities to network and access to professional development.

Understanding and responding to the needs of our Member Societies is pivotal to our work and essential to supporting and jointly advancing our mission. The ICO supports ophthalmology societies and in partnership with ophthalmologists from around the world, continue to grow our global community of interconnected eye health professionals. Building integrated, people-centred eye care will lead to greater engagement and knowledge sharing to enhance productivity, improve patient experience and treatment, and enable the ICO to provide outstanding education and improve collaboration. The ICO is an organisation that listens and works in service of our Member Societies in an equitable, responsive, inclusive, and considerate way.

The ICO aims at expanding and enhancing engagement, collaboration and communication with and between Member Societies and the broader ophthalmology community by:
  • Establishing and managing a virtual portal for information and knowledge sharing that supports the global ophthalmology community.
  • Conducting relevant and targeted communications to reinforce the sense of community within the ICO.
  • Promoting Member Society benefits and retention programmes.
  • Enhancing resources supporting networking opportunities and professional development among all members.
  • Promoting a code of member ethics that incorporates values such as respect, equity, diversity, and inclusion and reinforcing that the ICO does not tolerate discrimination or disinformation.
We are committed to supporting ophthalmology society growth and leadership development by
  • Providing guidance and resources to support the growth and operations of ophthalmology societies, particularly in low- and middle-income countries and especially during the early stages of societies’ formation.
  • Enhancing member resources to support future and emerging leaders.
  • Identifying needs and provide support to specific target groups, such as women and young ophthalmologists.
  • Promoting and profile ICO Member Societies and their activities and facilitate networking and information exchange.
  • Recognizing international leaders and experts with ICO award opportunities.

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