The General Assembly designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons by resolution 45/106 of 14 December 1990, following up on initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing and endorsed later that year by the General Assembly.
In 1991, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Persons (resolution 46/91). In 2002, the 2nd World Assembly on Ageing adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all ages.
Secretary General Message:
New York :Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for ensuring the dignity and well-being of older persons, noting that despite the commitment of States to eliminate discrimination against this vital segment of society, their rights are being violated every day. In a message marking the International Day of Older Persons, observed annually on 1 October, Mr. Ban recalled that six years ago at the Second World Assembly on Ageing held in Madrid, Member States committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination, including based on age.
“Despite this commitment, in many parts of the world, the rights of older persons are violated every day,” he stated. “Older persons often face age discrimination at a workplace. In social environments, they may experience a lack of recognition and respect. They may be deprived of full inclusion and participation in social, economic, cultural and political affairs,” said the Secretary-General. “Most disturbingly, in many countries, incidences of neglect, abuse and violence against older persons are not at all rare or isolated events.”
The first review and appraisal of the Madrid Plan of Action on Ageing, held earlier this year, showed that much more needs to be done at the national level to support older persons, promote their income security and social protection, and ensure quality health care, as well as the provision of long-term care services. “To make this possible, national ageing-specific policies must be improved substantially, and the concerns of older persons mainstreamed into a wider policy framework,” stress Mr. Ban.
He added that the theme of this year’s International Day, “Rights of Older Persons,” is especially apt in this year in which the United Nations marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “This International Day is an opportunity to stimulate discussion on promoting the rights of older persons and strengthen partnerships aimed at securing their full participation in society,” the Secretary-General stated.-UN News Service