Post-2015 in Bali: An interesting and fruitful meeting
From the 23rd to the 25th of March was celebrated in Bali, a High Level Panel Meeting of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development Agenda. During the first two days, more than 150 representatives of civil society from around the world were given the opportunity to discuss various thematic issues so that the conclusions of these discussions were presented on the third day to the members of the High Level Panel.
I was invited to the meeting in Bali as an expert on ageing representing the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance and HelpAge International.
During my four days in Bali, I had the opportunity to talk with members of the High Level Panel including Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser to the Secretary General on Post 2015 (see photo); the Foreign Minister of Columbia, Maria Angel Holguin; and the Foreign Minister of Mexico, Patricia Espinosa. I was really pleased how they reacted to the messages we brought.
Furthermore, the presence of so many different organisations represented in the meetings, made me realize how many sectors have been excluded from the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) when they were formulated in the year 2000. At the same time, I realised that we need to do a better job by letting people know what the MDGs are, as well as their relevance now and post 2015.
The need for disaggregated data
Knowing that people should be at the center of sustainable development, and that sustainable development should improve the lives and livelihoods of both present and future generations, the need to collect and use disaggregated data came out again and again in the different groups discussions we participated in.
Therefore, I was particularly happy that the call for disaggregated data was picked up in the panel`s final communique from the meetings, which stated:
"Substantial improvements in national and subnational statistical systems including local and subnational levels and the availability, quality and timeliness of baseline data, disaggregated by sex, age, region and other variables, will be needed."
We need to make alliances!
The meeting was an excellent exercise of civility, partnership and commitment but in my opinion, and especially for those organizations that went there to push for the rights of older persons, we need to do strategic alliances with more powerful groups such as women's group, who showed great strength as usual. To them, our message was that they have to think of older women as part of the excluded and fight for them.
Panel members: global ageing is a challenge that has to be addressed
I sincerely believe that the High Level Panel members left Bali with a much clearer picture of the challenges of older people: Their opinions to our interventions was that they recognize that global ageing is an extraordinary phenomenon with serious social, political and economic implications and is a challenge that has to be addressed.
There are still many people around the world that are not aware of their rights to demand but I firmly believe that every participant in Bali, went home with the idea of working a lot harder to empower their communities so that the High Level Panel, have a better idea of what is really needed. I know I'll be taking the agenda forward in Latin America as we approach 2015 to make sure that the challenges of older people are looked after by the new framework.