AGE and HelpAge International urge the EU to commit to the UN action plan on ageing

1 October 2011 - International Day of Older Persons

AGE and HelpAge International urge the EU to commit to the UN action plan on ageing

The International Day of Older Persons is the occasion to celebrate the important part played by older people in our societies and reflect on what should be done to effectively promote active and healthy ageing at global and EU level.
The global population is ageing rapidly and the number of people aged 60 or over will triple to reach 2 billion by 2050. Getting old now is no longer what it used to be 50 or even 20 years ago. Along with rising life expectancy, an increasing number of older citizens feel they still have a lot to give and to experience even after they have reached an advanced age. More and more older citizens world-wide are remaining active in employment or unpaid work in later life.  

Giving all citizens the means to age in good health and to get actively engaged in society and within their community whatever their age, should be a political priority at all levels.

"2012 will be the European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and will also mark the 10th anniversary of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Both occasions will provide plenty of opportunities to join forces to help achieve an age-friendly society at all levels", observed Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary-General of AGE Platform Europe.
The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing was adopted by the United Nations in April 2002 to address the issue of ageing in the 21st-century in a more global and comprehensive way. This Action Plan, the first governmental agreement linking ageing issues to other frameworks for social and economic development and human rights, focuses on three priority areas: older persons and development, advancing health and well-being into old age, and ensuring enabling and supportive environments.

AGE Platform Europe and HelpAge International together call on the European Union to contribute to the 10th Anniversary of this world-wide action plan on ageing by mainstreaming the EY2012 objectives  of promoting active ageing and solidarity between generations across all EU policy areas including EU development programmes and adopting an age-friendly approach in all pertinent EU social and economic policies.

"In developing countries, the critical contribution older people make to economic and social development is often unrecognised.  Through our global grassroots campaign, Age Demands Action, we are mobilising support from young and older generations to recognise this valuable contribution.  As the world's biggest aid donor, the EU must champion the rights of older people around the world by actively including them in its development policies and programmes "
, says Richard Blewitt, Chief Executive of HelpAge International.


Useful links:

UN Website - International Day of Older Persons
Madrid International Action Plan on Ageing
EY2012 website
EY2012 coalition campaign

Note to the editor

About HelpAge International
HelpAge International has a vision of a world in which all older people fulfil their potential to lead dignified, healthy and secure lives. We strive for the rights of disadvantaged older people to economic and physical security; healthcare and social services; and support in their care-giving role.

About AGE Platform Europe
AGE Platform Europe (formerly AGE - the European Older People's Platform) is a European network of organisation of people aged 50+ and represents over 30 million older people in Europe. AGE aims to voice and promote the interests of the 150 million inhabitants aged 50+ in the European Union and to raise awareness of the issues that concern them most.

For more information, please contact:
Anne Mélard                                                                                      Rachel Trayner
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AGE Platform Europe                                                                           HelpAge International                                                               
Tel: +32 2 280 14 70                                                                          Tel: + 44 (0) 7738982122
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