News – Sustainable development in an ageing world

With one in nine persons in the world aged 60 years or over, projected to increase to one in five by 2050, population ageing is a phenomenon that we can no longer ignore. Increasing longevity is one of humanity’s greatest achievements. Indeed, population ageing is cause for celebration. The opportunities that this presents are as endless as the contributions that a socially and economically active, secure and healthy ageing population can bring to society.

 The Second World Assembly on Ageing, convened in Madrid, Spain, in 2002, to address the challenges of rapid population ageing, adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, which focused on mainstreaming older persons in development, advancing health and well – being into old age, and ensuring enabling and supportive environments.

The United Nations Population Fund’s report on the progress since the adoption of the Madrid Plan is based on the achievements in the three priority areas identified in 2002: development, health and well – being. It reviews progress in policies and actions taken by governments and other stakeholders in response to Madrid’s call for creating a society for all ages.
There is a important discussion at the United Nations on what comes after the Millennium Development Goals officially concluding the end of 2014. The NGO Committee on Ageing, an accredited UN coalition of NGOs interested in ageing issues, is concerned that, once, again, it’ll be ignored. As the world ages, it is imperative that countries take this into account in their development policies, plans and budgets.
The NGO calls on Member States to include phrases such as: «for all persons regardless of age and ability», «of all ages and abilities», and «throughout the life course», and specific reference that a post-2015 sustainable development framework is human rights based for all people of all ages and abilities.
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Claudia Pellicano

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