United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

16 October 1992


                                                42nd plenary meeting
                                                16 October 1992
                      Proclamation on Ageing
     The General Assembly,
     Having convened an international conference on ageing on 15 and 16
October 1992 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the
International Plan of Action on Ageing,
     Adopts the Proclamation on Ageing, annexed to the present resolution.
                     Proclamation on Ageing
     The General Assembly,
     Noting the unprecedented ageing of populations taking place throughout
the world,
     Conscious that the ageing of the world's population represents an
unparalleled, but urgent, policy and programme challenge to Governments,
non-governmental organizations and private groups to ensure that the needs of
the aged and their human resource potential are adequately addressed,
     Conscious also that population ageing in developing regions is proceeding
much more rapidly than it occurred in the developed world,
     Aware that a revolutionary change in the demographic structure of
societies requires a fundamental change in the way in which societies organize
their affairs,
     Optimistic that the coming decade will see an increase in partnerships,
practical initiatives and resources devoted to ageing,
     Welcoming the increasing contributions of older persons to economic,
social and cultural development,
     Welcoming also broad participation in the United Nations programme on
     Recognizing that ageing is a life-long process and that preparation for
old age must begin in childhood and continue throughout the life cycle,
     Recognizing also that older persons are entitled to aspire to and attain
the highest possible level of health,
     Recognizing further that with increasing age some individuals will need
comprehensive community and family care,
     Reaffirming the International Plan of Action on Ageing, which it endorsed
in its resolution 37/51 of 3 December 1982, and the United Nations Principles
for Older Persons, annexed to its resolution 46/91 of 16 December 1991,
     Noting the many United Nations activities that address ageing in the
context of development, human rights, population, employment, education,
health, housing, family, disability and the advancement of women,
     Having considered the challenges inherent in implementing the Plan of
     Recognizing the need for a practical strategy on ageing for the decade
     1.   Urges the international community:
     (a)  To promote the implementation of the International Plan of Action on
     (b)  To disseminate widely the United Nations Principles for Older
     (c)  To support the practical strategies for reaching the global targets
on ageing for the year 2001;
     (d)  To support the continuing efforts of the Secretariat to clarify
policy options by improving data collection, research, training, technical
cooperation and information exchange on ageing;
     (e)  To ensure that the ageing of populations is adequately addressed in
the regular programmes of competent United Nations organizations and bodies,
and that adequate resources are assigned through redeployment;
     (f)  To support broad and practical partnerships within the United
Nations programme on ageing, including partnerships between Governments,
specialized agencies and United Nations bodies, non-governmental organizations
and the private sector;
     (g)  To strengthen the Trust Fund for Ageing as a means of supporting
developing countries in adjusting to the ageing of their populations;
     (h)  To encourage donor and recipient countries to include older persons
in their development programmes;
     (i)  To highlight ageing at major forthcoming events, including, in the
near future, events in the areas of human rights, the family, population, the
advancement of women, crime prevention, youth and the proposed world summit
for social development;
     (j)  To encourage the press and the media to play a central role in the
creation of awareness of population ageing and related issues, including the
celebration of the International Day for the Elderly on 1 October and the
dissemination of the United Nations Principles for Older Persons;
     (k)  To promote intraregional and interregional cooperation and exchange
of resources for programmes and projects on ageing, including those for
life-long healthy ageing, income generation and new forms of productive
     (l)  To provide the immense human and material resources now urgently
needed for adjustments to humanity's coming of age, which can be understood as
a demographic phenomenon, but also as a social, economic and cultural one of
great promise;
     2.   Also urges the support of national initiatives on ageing in the
context of national cultures and conditions, so that:
     (a)  Appropriate national policies and programmes for the elderly are
considered as part of overall development strategies;
     (b)  Policies which enhance the role of Government, the
voluntary sector and private groups are expanded and supported;
     (c)  Governmental and non-governmental organizations collaborate in the
development of primary health care, health promotion and self-help programmes
for the elderly;
     (d)  Older persons are viewed as contributors to their societies and not
as a burden;
     (e)  The entire population is engaged in preparing for the later stages
of life; 
     (f)  Old and young generations cooperate in creating a balance between
tradition and innovation in economic, social and cultural development;
     (g)  Policies and programmes are developed which respond to the special
characteristics, needs and abilities of older women;
     (h)  Older women are given adequate support for their largely
unrecognized contributions to the economy and the well-being of society;
     (i)  Older men are encouraged to develop social, cultural and emotional
capabilities which they may have been prevented from developing during
breadwinning years;
     (j)  Community awareness and participation is encouraged in the
formulation and implementation of programmes and projects with the involvement
of older persons;
     (k)  Families are supported in providing care and all family members are
encouraged to cooperate in caregiving;
     (l)  Local authorities cooperate with older persons, businesses, civic
associations and others in exploring new ways of maintaining age integration
in family and community;
     (m)  Decision makers and researchers cooperate in undertaking
action-oriented studies;
     (n)  Policy makers focus attention and resources on tangible
opportunities rather than on desirable but unobtainable goals;
     (o)  International cooperation is expanded to the extent feasible in the
context of the strategies for reaching the global targets on ageing for the
year 2001;
     3.   Decides to observe the year 1999 as the International Year of Older
Persons, supported by the regular programme budget for the biennium 1998-1999
and by voluntary contributions, in recognition of humanity's demographic
coming of age and the promise it holds for maturing attitudes and capabilities
in social, economic, cultural and spiritual undertakings, not least for global
peace and development in the next century.