On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly (by resolution 45/106) designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons. The theme of the 2012 commemoration is “Longevity: Shaping the Future.” Ageing and health was also the theme of this year’s World Health Day on 7 April.
This year, the commemoration of the International Day of Older Persons coincides with a new report published by UNFPA and HelpAge: “Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and A Challenge.” This report analyses the current situation of older persons and reviews progress in policies and actions taken by governments and other stakeholders since the Second World Assembly on Ageing in implementing the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing to respond to the opportunities and challenges of an ageing world. It provides many inspiring examples of innovative programmes that successfully address ageing issues and the concerns of older persons.
The report identifies gaps and provides recommendations for the way forward to ensure a society for all ages in which both young and old are given the opportunity to contribute to development and share in its benefits. A unique feature of the report is a focus on the voices of older persons themselves, captured through consultations with older men and women around the world.