Seventh Working Session
Open-ended Working Group on Ageing Agenda Item 5
United Nations Headquarters, 12 -15 December 2016
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for giving me the floor for a brief statement on behalf of Partners in Population and Development (PPD). Since its inception in 1994 as an Inter-governmental organization of 26 developing countries and representing 58% of world population, PPD has provided its members a collective platform for advocating and generating political commitment to the complex issues of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and to issues relating to wider demographic dynamics such as adolescent health, youths and, lately and importantly, ageing.
We all noted the unprecedented demographic shift in the number of older people in proportion of the total population both in developed and developing countries. The growth of older population over 60 years from 2015-2030 from 901 million to 1.4 billion and to 201 billion by 2050, has indeed consequences for overall societal welfare and public policy choices. Although the trend and impact would vary amongst countries, the sheer magnitude and its resultant implications on public policy cannot be overestimated.
According to a preliminary analysis, 26 member countries of PPD currently carry 442 million people over 60 years of age ( i.e. 49 % of the world’s old population) and it is projected to increase to 752 million in 2030 and 1.2 billion in 2050.
While majority of the Governments of the PPD member countries considers population ageing as a major concern, only fifteen member countries have dedicated national policy for older people. Moreover, there is lack of data on policy and program gaps on situation of older persons, and data on older population disaggregated by age groups, sex, and education, economic and social welfare coverage are inadequate, if not unavailable.
The issue of ageing population is a predictable phenomenon and the problems associated with ageing in developing countries are characterized by changing social values, inadequate public policy on older age population, limited ability to provide social protection, health care and income security for the growing numbers of older citizens. The opportunities and challenges of ageing should be addressed by a coherent and inclusive set of policies, public sector programs and their implementation as well an emancipation of a positive social mindset to understand and address these issues in real terms.
The second review and appraisal of the MIPAA (E/CN.5/2013/6) revealed, that ageing and older persons are still being viewed and acted upon in policy silos e.g. health, pensions, social care etc. mostly from a welfare-based based perspective, when a rights-based approach has been recommended to ensure the social integration of older persons and the promotion and protection of their rights (A/68/167) to realize their potentials.
PPD fully supports the conclusion of the SG’s report (A/70/185) that the goal of health and well-being at all ages is an important cross-cutting issue with significant implications for the success of the post-2015 development agenda and that an effective implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing would be critical to achieving several sustainable development goals. PPD reiterates that the successful implementation of the Madrid International Plan would rely on building national capacities for policy development and mainstreaming ageing into national and international development agendas.
PPD is carrying out consistent advocacy work with its member countries to establish national policy on ageing and promoting programmes for ensuring healthy ageing. PPD in technical partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a ‘Global Commission on Ageing in Developing Countries’ in October 2013 in Beijing. More recently, under the umbrella of the Global commission, PPD has finalized “Country situation report on ageing” for nine countries (China, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mali, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa and Vietnam). The most recent global conference on Ageing cosponsored by Government of China, PPD and UNFPA in October 2016 in Shanghai recommended a set of agreed actions for its member countries.
PPD supports the need to generate a set of international standards on the rights of older persons which would serve as a norm or guide for the member countries. Such standards would underline the need to remove all legal and social obstacles to the realization of the rights of older persons and promote mainstreaming the protection of the rights of older persons in their socio economic policy frameworks and programmes.
One underlying principle guiding the work of PPD and the Ageing Commission is increased South-South Cooperation and partnership on ageing to better prepare the developing countries to share, promote and scale up the best practices.
Thank you very much for your kind attention.