PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR SECOND WORLD ASSEMBLY ON AGEING CONCLUDES HEADQUARTERS SESSION

1 March 2002
SOC/4600

PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR SECOND WORLD ASSEMBLY ON AGEING CONCLUDES HEADQUARTERS SESSION

01/03/2002
Press Release
SOC/4600


Preparatory Committee for

Second World Assembly on Ageing

2nd and 3rd Meetings (AM & PM)


PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR SECOND WORLD ASSEMBLY ON AGEING

CONCLUDES HEADQUARTERS SESSION


Negotiations to Continue on Declaration, 2002 Action Plan


As it closed its second session today, the Commission for Social Development acting as the Preparatory Committee for the Second World Assembly on Ageing concluded the current stage of its consideration of the Assembly’s outcome documents -– the declaration and the international plan of action on ageing 2002  -- and made decisions on the provisional agenda and organization of work of the event, which is scheduled for Madrid, Spain, from 8 to 12 April.


The texts of the declaration and the international plan of action 2002 as they appeared at 6 p.m. today [still containing some paragraphs in bold script] were to be annexed to the final report of the Preparatory Committee, which was adopted without a vote today.  This decision was taken on the understanding that the structure of the outcome document would be decided upon at a later date.


The International Plan of Action on Ageing, which was adopted at the First World Assembly in Vienna in 1982, has guided the thinking and action on ageing over the past 20 years.  However, remarkable demographic changes are currently taking place, and by the middle of the twenty-first century the old and the young are expected to represent equal shares of the world population.  Globally, the proportion of persons aged 60 years and older is expected to double between 2000 and 2050.  The proposed 2002 plan of action would call for changes in attitudes, policies and practices at all levels in all sectors, so that the enormous potential of ageing in the twenty-first century may be fulfilled. 


While recognizing that the foundation for a healthy and enriching old age is laid early in life, the plan would also stress the importance of integrating the evolving process of global ageing within the larger process of development.  It is intended to become a political tool, which would allow policy makers to focus on the key priorities associated with ageing at the individual and population levels.  The document would acknowledge the common features of the nature of ageing and the challenges it presents.  It would also provide specific recommendations to address those challenges, which are being designed to be adapted to the circumstances in each country.


2nd and 3rd Meetings (AM & PM)


In other action today, the Preparatory Committee approved, as orally amended, the provisional agenda and proposed organization of work of the Assembly and agreed on the list of non-governmental organizations to be accredited at the event.


It was decided that during the Assembly, the general debate would take place from 8 to 12 April.  At the same time, the Main Committee, which is to be established to consider the draft declaration and the international plan on ageing 2002, would be conducting its work.  Action on the outcome documents would be taken on the last day of the Assembly.


The Bureau was authorized, after close consultations with Member States, to finalize any outstanding organizational and procedural matters, which are to be approved by the pre-Assembly consultations to take place at Headquarters. 


Regarding the officers of the Assembly, in accordance with standard practice, it was decided that the presidency of the Assembly would go to the host country.  The 27 vice-president positions will be distributed according to the following geographical pattern:  seven representatives from African States; six from Asian States; three from Eastern European States; five from Latin American and Caribbean States; and six from Western European and Other States.  The regional groups were requested to present their nominations for the vice-president positions, and the governments were invited to inform the Secretariat of the level of their representation by 14 March.


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For information media. Not an official record.