Recent Developments toward a
NGOs, the United Nations and like-minded governments are beginning to move towards a Convention. They are taking steps and building understandings that can give the process momentum, widen participation, and help create local, national and international support for the idea. There are many important signs of progress:
• The Open Ended Working Group on Ageing had its first organizational session on February 15, 2011 in the UN headquarters, New York. Please click here to read the provisional agenda of the organizational session and here to read the session's summary.
• During the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly, an Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG on Ageing) was established to encourage governments to pay greater attention to protect the human rights of older persons. Please read the Resolution A/RES/65/182 adopted by the General Assembly on December 21, 2010 for more detailed information.
• Nine international ageing organizations joined to prepare this report Strengthening Older People's Rights: Towards a UN Convention. They believe that a Convention (or treaty among nations) will ensure that older women and men can realize their rights. With a new UN convention, and the assistance of a Special Rapporteur, governments can have an explicit legal framework, guidance and support to assure that older people's rights are realized in our increasingly aging societies.
• The UN Commission for Social Development adopted during its 48th session a resolution on older persons. Member States are encouraged “to consider how best the international framework of norms and standards can ensure the full enjoyment of the rights of older persons” and to look at the “possibility of instituting new policies, instruments or measures to further improve the situation of older persons.”
• The Third Committee adopted its resolution A/C.3/64/L.6 on aging on October 22, 2009. In it, Member States request the Secretary-General to “submit to the General Assembly at its sixty-fifth session, […], a comprehensive report on the current status of the social situation, wellbeing, development and rights of older persons at the national and regional levels.”
• The Government of Chile hosted the Third Follow Up Meeting to the Brasilia Declaration in Santiago in October 2009.
• The Division for Social Policy and Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) organized an Expert Group Meeting on “Rights of Older Persons” on 5-7 May 2009, in Bonn, Germany.
• The Government of Argentina hosted the Second Follow Up Meeting to the Brasilia Declaration in Buenos Aires in April, 2009, to continue work on an aging Convention for the region.
• An NGO Symposium in London, organized to consider a Convention, took place in January, 2009.
• The NGO Committee on Aging set up a subcommittee to promote a Convention in January 2009.
• The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in late 2008 instructing the Department for Economic and Social Affairs to prepare a study of Older Persons’ Rights.
• The NGO Committee on Ageing (New York) celebrated the International Day of Older Persons, in October 2008, with a day-long program, “Toward a Human Rights Convention on Ageing.”
• Brazil called a strategy meeting in mid-September 2008 of governments and NGOs from Latin America and the Caribbean.
• The Committee to Eliminate Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) began considering inclusion of “older women” as a category for monitoring in 2008.
• The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in its Brasilia Declaration of December 2007, urged the UN to adopt a Human Rights Convention and to appoint a Special Rapporteur on Ageing.
• Social Watch, an important global NGO network, published an article in its 2007 annual report calling for a Convention on the rights of older persons.
• UNFPA addressed the human rights of older persons in a resolution
adopted at its meeting in Istanbul in 2007.