Press Releases

    SG/SM/8391
    OBV/290
    20 September 2002

     

    CRAFT NEW ERA FOR AGEING IN NEW CENTURY,
    SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS IN
    DAY OF OLDER PERSONS MESSAGE

    NEW YORK, 19 September (UN Headquarters) -- The following is the message issued by Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons, 1 October:

    The past year has seen groundbreaking developments on issues affecting the lives of older persons. The Second World Assembly on Ageing in Madrid adopted an International Plan of Action that called on the international community to address fully the link between older persons and development, and challenged society’s conventional perceptions of ageing. The document made clear that ageing is not a problem but an achievement; and that it is not merely an issue of social security and welfare, but one of overall development and economic policy. And for the first time, governments agreed on the need to integrate ageing with other frameworks for social and economic development and human rights.

    The challenge before us now is to implement the Madrid Plan of Action, and place global ageing firmly on the development agenda for this century. There is no time to lose. The older population of the year 2060 has already been born. They will occupy an unprecedented share of the world’s total population.

    The Madrid Plan provides a broad spectrum of social, political and economic recommendations to address the challenge of vastly improving the situation of older people. Each one of us has a part to play in that effort. On this International Day of Older Persons, let us resolve to work together to craft a new era for ageing in the twenty-first century.

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