2 October 2012 – On the occasion of International Day of Older Persons, celebrated yesterday, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and HelpAge International released a report “Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and A Challenge”.
According to the report, the number of older persons is growing faster than any other age group. However, while the trend of ageing societies is a cause for celebration, it also presents huge challenges as it requires completely new approaches to health care, retirement, living arrangements and intergenerational relations.
In 2000, for the first time in history, there were more people over 60 than children below 5. By 2050, the older generation will be larger than the under-15 population. By the same year, 2 billion people, over 20 per cent of the world’s population, will be 60 or older. The increase in the number of older people will be the greatest and the most rapid in the developing world.
Although important progress has been made by many countries in adopting new policies, strategies, plans and laws on ageing, much more needs to be done to fulfil the potential of our ageing world.
Despite the contributions that a socially and economically active, secure and healthy ageing population can give to society, many older persons all over the world still face discrimination, abuse and violence. The report calls for urgent action by governments, civil society and the general public to end these destructive practices and to invest in older people.
60 over 60 campaign
To celebrate the release of the report, UNFPA and HelpAge International are launching 60 over 60, a list of 60 inspiring and influential people over 60. You are encouraged to nominate yourself or another inspiring person that you admire.
There are three ways to submit your nomination:
• Visit 60 over 60 website and submit a photo and a short story of 150 words or less, telling us about the nominee’s accomplishments and qualities.
• Post an image with a short text to the UNFPA or HelpAge‘s Facebook wall.
• Share a tweet, using #60over60.
Nominations close on 23 November 2012. All qualifying nominees will be posted on the 60 over 60 website. An expert panel of respected public figures working with older people, or older people themselves, will narrow the list down to 60 people and it will be announced in December.
Sources: UNFPA Press Release and International Day of Older Persons website
1 October was designated the International Day of Older Persons by the United Nations in 1990. The theme of this year’s observance, “Longevity: Shaping the Future”, focuses on how healthy behaviours throughout life can help older men and women lead full and productive lives and be a resource for their families and communities.
The day is especially important this year since 2012 is the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.