"Longevity is a public health achievement, not a social or economic liability. On this International Day of Older Persons, let us pledge to ensure the well-being of older persons and to enlist their meaningful participation in society so we can all benefit from their knowledge and ability."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Theme for 2012:
Longevity: Shaping the Future
On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly (by resolution 45/106) designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons.
This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing - which was adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing - and endorsed later that year by the UN General Assembly.
In 1991, the General Assembly (by resolution 46/91) adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Persons.
In 2002, the Second World Assembly on Ageing adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all ages.
The theme of the 2012 commemoration is “Longevity: Shaping the Future”. Ageing and health was also the theme of this year's World Health Day on 7 April. These themes focus on how healthy behaviours throughout life can help older men and women lead full and productive lives and be a resource for their families and communities.