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UN Department of Economic 
and Social Affairs (DESA)


In the UN Secretariat, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has responsibility to foster and assist MIPAA implementation and follow-up. Within DESA, the UN Programme on Ageing assumes the main responsibility for MIPAA and works with other parts of the UN to get the task done. In a very positive movement, the UN Programme of Youth began taking a closer look at MIPAA in 2003, strengthening its approach to inter-generational issues and mainstreaming MIPAA's recommendations. 


UN Programme on Ageing
DESA’s Program on Aging organizes expert group meetings and promotes awareness of the bottom-up approach through guidelines in order to assist countries in MIPAA follow-up. DESA also receives assessments on the aging situation from regional commissions and makes recommendations to the UN Secretary General for inclusion in a yearly report. With less than four staff professionals the UN Programme on Ageing is quite understaffed compared with other UN departments and considering the magnitude of population aging. This page also includes work of other DESA departments. 


UN Programme on Youth
Within DESA, the UN Programme on Youth acts as the focal point for youth issues. In 1995, the UN adopted an international strategy, the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond. The World Programme shares similarities to MIPAA as it builds on the same international instruments, such as the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. Most importantly, a proposed supplement to the World Programme stresses intergenerational solidarity that resonates throughout MIPAA. This page follows the Youth Programme’s work on mainstreaming the recommendations contained in MIPAA. 


UN Population Division
Lodged in the Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the Population Division focuses on a wide range of global population issues (adoption, HIV/AIDS, urban and rural development, environment, fertility trends, older persons, youth, etc). Experts in the Divisions analyze and investigate policy issues and prominent global trends in the field of population and development. The Division helps the United Nations to understand important population development issues that require action. It has worked on ageing topics for over twenty-five years. In 1994, during the International Conference on Population and Development, the Division described aging as a social and economic challenge and opportunity. Today, the 2002 Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) shaped the concerns of the division, particularly around population increase and mortality rates. MIPAA focuses on 3 major areas: older persons and development; advancing health and well-being into old age and ensuring an enabling and supportive environment. These areas coincide with population and development. 


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