Sustained efforts needed to advance action plan on ageing, UN says

Sustained efforts needed to advance action plan on ageing, UN says

Five years after international leaders agreed to promote the opportunities and confront the challenges posed by ageing populations, the United Nations is calling on world governments to step up their efforts to advance the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing.

The first review of the Madrid Plan, which wrapped up at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday, showed that progress has been mixed, differing from region to region and country to country.

While European nations have advanced towards social services for dependent persons, States in other regions have focused on improving and amplifying health and social security coverage, and reducing poverty for older persons. And in developing countries, ageing issues appear to be only recently included in national policy planning.

The review and appraisal of the Madrid Plan was concluded during the latest session of the Commission for Social Development. It was a year-long worldwide assessment that involved civil society groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government officials and older persons, and it took stock of the progress made since 2002, and identified priorities through 2012.

The Commission has called on governments to strengthen their efforts to incorporate ageing issues into their policy agendas and develop the national capacity to address the priorities identified by the review. This includes reinforcing institutions, research, data collection and analysis and training of necessary personnel in the field of ageing.

Delegates at the Commission session also discussed full employment, decent work and the integration of disability into the development agenda. In addition, the Commission renewed the mandate of its special Rapporteur on disability through the end of 2011.