International Day of Older Persons
The General Assembly of the United Nations designated October 1st as International Day of Older Persons. This Day was observed for the first time throughout the world on October 1st, 1991, and many countries and organizations celebrate it every year. By designating a "Special Day" for seniors, the General Assembly recognized the importance of older adults and their contributions to the development of human society. This event also draws attention to the emergence of a new demographic phenomenon.
2003 | 2004 | 2006
| 2008 | 2009 | 2010
World: International Day of Older Persons:
Argentine Ambassador's Speech
(October 7, 2010)
Read the text of the speech Ambassador Jorge Argüello presented at the New York NGO Committee on Ageing’s International Day of Older Persons.
World: Video: International Day of Older Persons:
Argentine Ambassador's Speech
on Video (October 7, 2010)
Argentine Ambassador Jorge Argüello told NGOs that Argentina and the
other 132 developing countries in the world and China "have officially presented a draft resolution to the United Nations calling for the establishing of a working group of the United Nations to consider a Convention on the rights of older persons. This is a first step, and there is still a long way to go to secure the support of all 192 States
members," he said.
Statement on the International Day of Older Persons (October 1, 2010)
(Article Also in Arabic)
On this International Day of Older Persons, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
called on Governments to put financial, legal and social protections in
place to lift millions of impoverished old people out of poverty. For our
part, GAA asks that these Governments to move swiftly toward a human rights
instrument to ensure the human rights of older persons.
Spain: Speech of H.E. D. Juan Antonio Yáñez-Barnuevo (October 8, 2009)
During the International Day of Older Persons' morning session, H.E. Ambassador D. Juan Antonio Yáñez-Barnuevo, Ambassador of Spain, outlined the main ways that the Spanish government promotes active aging. In a country where the population is aging rapidly,
he said that the government promotes ongoing education, better quality of life and an independent life for older persons as well as economic security and flexibility in retirement.
International Day of
Older Persons: Nora Berra Very Active During Her Trip in New York (October 13, 2009)
(Article in French)
On the occasion of the International Day for Older Persons, Nora Berra, the French Minister for Older Persons, came to the UN to
speak on behalf of France before representatives of the NGO Committee on Aging. Then, in a workshop on Human Rights, Nora Berra answered numerous questions from the audience about the role that France might play to support a convention for older persons. Finally, she pleased everyone when she called for a regional European meeting on aging in France by the year
2011. To access her full speech in French, click here.
United States: Joan Wile Speech Delivered at the Conference on Aging at the UN (October 8, 2009)
Joan Wile, a former working singer and songwriter, spoke at the UN during the International Day of Older Persons giving an example of aging activism. As a grandmother of five, she founded Grandmothers Against the War six years ago. This association, along with the Granny Peace Brigade, has organized many activities to oppose the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. To tell her story and the story of those grandmothers, Joan Wile recently published her first book: Grandmothers Against the War: How We Got Off Our Fannies and Stood Up for Peace.
Benin: Speech of Jean-Francis Regis Zinsou (October 8, 2009)
(Speech in French)
During the International Day of Older Persons' morning session, Jean-Francis Regis Zinsou, currently Charge d' Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Benin to the United Nations and Chairman of the Working Group of the Least Developed Countries on Remittances, outlined policies directed toward Benin’s elders. In this country, where older persons represent a little less than 10% of the population, older people find themselves vulnerable due to poor housing and their personal illiteracy. In order to give older persons the chance to pass on their knowledge to the community, the Benin government adopted a National Plan for Active Aging (2007-2016).
International Day of Older Persons, Workshop: Promoting Aging Activism to Assure the Rights of Older Persons (October 8, 2009)
Global Action on Aging President, Susanne Paul, served as chair of the “Promoting Aging Activism to Assure the Rights of Older Persons” seminar that featured advocates for elder rights during the UN International Day of Older Persons on October 8, 2009. France’s Secretary of State for Older Persons, Nora Berra; Argentina UN Delegate, Maria Luz Melon; Pan-American Health Organization lawyer Javier Vasquez and Global Ambassador for HelpAge International Alexandre Kalache, spoke. The event began with an interactive question-and-answer session between speakers and audience. UN Acting Chief of the Social Integration Branch, Jean-Pierre Gonnot, offered helpful remarks at the session’s close.
International Day of Older Persons Workshop: Confronting Emerging Challenges: Climate Change and Aging: Providing Effective Social Services (October 8, 2009)
The workshop participants took up the questions and challenges that climate change poses to different groups of people, particularly older persons. The International Panel on Climate Change predicts that older persons are among those at greatest risk. The United Nations Population Fund speaker said that older persons need to learn ways to adapt to climate change. As a response to this, the US-based Environmental Protection Agency has developed an awards program entitled, “ Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging.” Other countries are also trying to adapt their older citizens to these coming changes in climate. For example, in Trinidad and Tobago the development of the government’s comprehensive policy on aging will contain a substantial discussion of sustainable development among older persons.
International Day of Older Persons Workshop: From Rhetoric to Reality: Educating and Empowering for Implementation (October 8, 2009)
In this workshop on the International Day of Older Persons, participants learned how to become politically active as they implement the UN Principles on Older Persons of 1991. First, they learned how to conduct a survey on the popular knowledge of UN principles in general society. Then, they discussed how each of them can implement UN principles in society through political activism. In the end, participants actually tried to implement those principles in practice by telling the group what it can do to promote UN principles in society. In this way, they accomplished two important goals: they spread their ideas throughout the group encouraging people to act and also expanded the notion of political activism. A great inter-active session!
International Day of Older Persons: Picture Gallery (October 8, 2009)
Visit GAA's gallery to see pictures from the morning panel and afternoon workshop of IDOP 2009 organized by the NY NGO Committee on Ageing in collaboration with The UN Department of Public Information; the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). This event was sponsored by the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Spain and Uruguay.
Message from Rosemary Lane at Luncheon Honoring Dr. Alexandre Sidorenko (October 8, 2009)
On the International Day of Older Persons, Acting Ageing Focal Point, Rosemary Lane, described the work of newly retired Dr. Alexandre Sidorenko for his work as the focal point on ageing for the UN for over 20 years. Dr. Sidorenko is well known at the international level for his passionate promotion of aging issues.
UN Secretary-General Message on the International Day of Older Persons (October 1, 2009)
The Secretary General of the United Nations addressed the General Assembly on the International Day of Older Persons identifying the efforts of the UN over the past decade to build “a society for all” and to promote international commitment to the United Nations Principles for Older Persons. In his powerful message, he also stressed the need to treat older persons as agents and beneficiaries of development. The Secretary General urged all member countries to put legal protections in place to end age discrimination, abuse, neglect and violence against older persons.
“A Call for a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons” (October 7, 2008)
On the occasion of the annual International Day of Older Persons and the 60th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Department of Public Information and the New York NGO Committee on Ageing assembled. The overall goal of the conference was to tackle the process that will lead to the development and acceptance of a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. Besides several speakers from around the world the two keynote speaker Minister Paulo de Tarso Vannuchi and Mr. Sergei Zelenev expressed themselves about the current situation of older persons.
Report: Czech Republic: The Human Rights
of Older Persons (October 2, 2008)
Honoring the International Day of Older Persons, Minister Damila Stehlikova
from the Czech Ministry of Human Rights compared the demographics of the
Czech Republic and France in a power point presentation. She also discussed
age-related policies and family and health issues. She concluded by
elaborating the challenges and priorities facing the Czech Republic as the
demographics of the country change.
Brazil: Speech by Special Secretary of Human Rights Minister Paulo
Vannuchi (October 2, 2008)
Speaking at the United Nations Headquarters on the occasion of celebrating the International Day of Older Persons, Special Secretary of Human Rights Minister Paulo Vannuchi expressed his positive view about a convention on human rights of older persons. Besides presenting Brazil’s approach to this specific issue, he reaffirmed his commitment to continue calling on his government colleagues and friendly nations to address the issue.
Czech Republic: Remarks Prepared by Džamila Stehlíková, Czech Republic, for the International Day of Older Persons at the UN/New York, October 2, 2008
(October 2, 2008)
According to Minister Damila Stehlíková from the Czech Ministry of Human Rights, the primary responsibility for ensuring equality of opportunities and the Human Rights of Older Persons falls on national governments. She therefore calls for a complete policy framework that supports older persons, including issues such as promoting solidarity between the different generations of workers, enforcing occupational health policies, promoting training, education and lifelong learning, implementing anti-discriminatory labour legislation, compensating gender differences, and improving the quality of life. In addition, Stehlíková explained the Czech approach to the issue which is embodied in the Czech National Programme of Preparation for Ageing for 2008-2012 and went on to describe the European Union’s mission for including older people in social and economic policy.
Convention on the Rights of Older Persons: How Feasible Is the Option? (October 2, 2008)
On the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons one of the keynote speakers Sergei
Zelenev, Chief, Social Integration Branch, DESA, stated his view on a range of issues affecting older persons, discussing particularly the issue of the rights of older persons. His speech particularly focused on the need for a convention while emphasizing as well the Madrid Plan and the need to work towards the implementation of the existing commitments.
UN Secretary General Message to the International Day of Older Persons (October 1, 2008)
Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations has expressed his support for the theme of this year’s IDOP – “Rights of Older Persons”. Acknowledging that the adoption of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing was an important step towards ending age discrimination by all UN member nations, Ban Ki-moon recognized that much more work needs to be done at the national level to support older persons. He went on to say that in many parts of the world, the rights of older persons are violated every day and the 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 2007 International Day of Older Persons addressed the “challenges and opportunities of ageing.” Planners wanted to raise awareness of the objectives set forth in the 2002 Madrid International Plan on Action on Ageing and to show how some NGO’s across the globe are responding.
Global Action on Aging
at Work during the International Day of Older Persons (October 4, 2007)
Global Action on Aging's intern and staff attended the IDOP meetings and
organized a lunch with some retirees. Here are some pictures of the
Global Action on
Aging's interview of Edilia Camargo (October 4, 2007)
In honor of the International Day of Older Persons, GAA interviewed Edilia Camargo.
She belongs to the ‘Red Continental Personas Mayores,’ an organization composed of delegations from fourteen countries in Latin America. The group is organizing a network to fight for elderly people’s rights in Latin America.
Message on the International Day of Older Persons of Ban
Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations (October 1, 2007)
Eighty per cent of the world’s population has no social protection in old age. UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called attention to this urgent fact in his message on the International Day of Older Persons. He also pointed out that “finding ways to provide economic support for a growing number of older persons, through sustainable pension programs and new social protection measures is a daunting task, particularly in developing countries.” Finally, the Secretary General affirmed that older persons bring many assets to human society.
Global Action on Aging
Open House on the International Day of Older Persons (October 5, 2007)
For the International Day of Older Persons, GAA hosted some friends in its office. Here are some pictures.
16th International Day for Older Persons (October 1, 2006)
In honor of the International Day of Older Persons on October 5th, the NGO Committee on Aging, the UN Department on Social and Economic Affairs and the UN Department of Public Information organized a UN event with the theme “Improving the Quality of Life for Older Persons: Advancing UN Global Strategies.” The event
aimed at raising awareness of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and the need to put its recommendations into action. This information sheet also gives suggestions on how older persons around the world can get involved in the annual International Day each year.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Message on the International Day of Older Persons (September 26, 2006)
In his message for the International Day of Older Persons, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan identifies himself as one of the “600 million persons in the world over the age of 60.” He calls on “governments, the private sector, civil society organizations and people everywhere to focus on building a society for all ages -- as envisioned in the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and in line with the Millennium Development Goals and wider global development agenda.”
the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (October 1, 2004)
UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan emphasized the 2004 IDOP theme, "Older Persons in an
Intergenerational Society," saying that older persons play an important
role in their families, communities and societies. He also underlined the
significance of promoting the "idea of mutual support and solidarity
between generations as key elements of social development."
Ageing: Forging Links between the Madrid Plan of Action on Ageing and the
Millennium Development Goals (October 2, 2003)
This report on the United
Nations 2003 International Day of Older Persons links the Madrid Plan of
Action on Ageing to the Millennium Development Goals. Presented by the
UN/NGO Committee on Ageing in collaboration with the UN Department of Public
Information and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the report
contains key ideas on including concerns of older persons with the
Millennium Development Goals.