Population ageing is to become one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st century

International Day of Older Persons

New Delhi,
29th September 2019: Between 2017 and 2030, the number of persons
aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 46 per cent (from 962 million to
1.4 billion) globally outnumbering youth, as well as children under the age of
10. Moreover, this increase will be the greatest and most rapid in the
developing world. Population ageing is poised to become one of
the most significant social transformations of the 21st century.

Older people
have always played a significant role in society as leaders, caretakers and
custodians of tradition. Yet they are also highly vulnerable, with many falling
into poverty, becoming disabled or facing discrimination. As health care
improves, the population of older people is growing. Their needs are also
growing, as are their contributions to the world.

The International
Day of Older Persons
is an opportunity to highlight the important
contributions that older people make to society and raise awareness of the
opportunities and challenges of ageing in today’s world.

International
Day of Older Persons 2019 Theme: “The Journey to Age Equality”.

The 2030
Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize that development
will only be achievable if it is inclusive of all ages. Empowering older
persons in all dimensions of development, including promoting their active
participation in social, economic and political life, is one way to ensure
their inclusiveness and reduce inequalities.

The 2019
theme is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 10 (SDG 10) and focuses on
pathways of coping with existing — and preventing future — old age
inequalities. SDG 10 sets to reduce inequality within — and among — countries,
and aims to “ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of
outcome,” including through measures to eliminate discrimination, and to
“empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all,
irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or
economic or other status.”

Often, disparities
in old age
reflect an accumulated disadvantage characterized by factors
such as: location, gender, socio‐economic status, health and income. Between
2015 and 2030, the number of people aged 60 and over is expected to increase from
901 million to 1.4 billion. In this regard, trends of ageing and economic
inequality interact across generations and rapid population ageing, demographic
and societal or structural changes alone, can exacerbate older age
inequalities, thereby limiting economic growth and social cohesion.

The 2019
theme of International Day of Older Persons aims to:

Draw
attention to the existence of old age inequalities and how this often results
from a cumulation of disadvantages throughout life, and highlight
intergenerational risk of increased old age inequalities.

Bring
awareness to the urgency of coping with existing — and preventing future — old
age inequalities.

Explore
societal and structural changes in view of life course policies: life-long
learning, proactive and adaptive labour policies, social protection and
universal health coverage.

Reflect on
best practices, lessons and progress on the journey to ending older age
inequalities and changing negative narratives and stereotypes involving
“old age.”

 Why do we mark International Days?

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.

(Note- All information has been taken from the United Nations’ website.)

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