Business News of 2014-02-19

‘Factor the aged into Millennium Development Goals’

The Group of 77 developing countries (G77) have recommended that the situation of old people be taken into account in the Millennium Development Goals, and be given due consideration in the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015.

It expressed concern that ageing had not received adequate attention, leading to older people being overlooked by and omitted from national development plans, poverty-reduction strategies and national employment priorities.

In a resolution passed by the group after a sideline meeting at the on-going 52nd session of the UN Commission on Social Development, the G77 called upon member states to adopt appropriate measures, including the necessary legislative measures, to promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by older people to make for their full social, economic, cultural and political participation.

The UN session is discussing the theme: ‘Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all”.

Madrid Plan of Action

The Group, of which Ghana is a member, called for “further implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing” adopted by the Second World Assembly on Ageing held in Madrid in April 2002.

According to the G77, awareness of the Madrid Plan of Action remained limited or non-existent in many parts of the world, which limits the scope of implementation efforts.

They recalled that the second review and appraisal of the Madrid Plan of Action highlighted several major challenges faced by older people in most regions that undermined the social, economic and cultural participation of the aged, namely, income security, access to age appropriate healthcare services, access to labour markets and social protection, protection from abuse and violence and age discrimination.

The resolution emphasised that a systematic review of its implementation by member states was essential for its success in improving the quality of life of older people.

The resolution called on member states to continue to participate effectively in the implementation of the Madrid Plan of Action through improving data collection and sharing ideas, information and good practices.

Ageing Issues

Member states were also encouraged to re-examine their strategic approach and policy options in relation to the health care of old people in the light of new and emerging disease patterns and increased life expectancy, in particular the mental health and palliative care needs of older people.

Additionally, they were urged to continue their efforts to promote the participation of older people in the decision-making process and ageing with dignity.

Recognising the essential contribution that older people made to the development of their societies, communities, the well-being of the family and upbringing of children and educating the youth, the resolution emphatically encouraged member states to reinforce the transmission of inter-generational knowledge and provide services and support for older people who, for various reasons, had assumed responsibility for their grandchildren.

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