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Countdown to 2002: No. 1, April 2000

Newsletter of the United Nations programme on ageing: UN Secretariat for the World Assembly on Ageing

The United Nations Secretariat takes pleasure in announcing the commencement of preparations to pave the way for a Second World Assembly on Ageing in 2002.


Welcome to the first issue of Countdown to 2002, a new periodical that will inform you of the various United Nations activities leading up to 2002, when the Second World Assembly on Ageing is expected to take place in Spain. Some of you may remember the precursor to this issue, Countdown to 1999, which served as an informative vehicle for the 1999.

International Year of Older Persons (IYOP)

We would like to take this opportunity, as we commence a new course towards 2002, to thank the entire community of representatives from around the world that contributed to the overwhelming success of 1999. The collective efforts of so many etched a symbolic, substantive, and lasting imprint on society, and ushered in a broad and energetic follow up.

Preparatory Footnote for 2002

The International Plan of Action on Ageing, the 1982 historic document that forged the groundwork on ageing issues across the last two decades of the 20th century, is again the focus of attention as the international community begins to debate and explore its revision. The essence of the Vienna Plan, as it is frequently called, has resembled a canon instrument for ageing, wedded to the highest standards on issues of housing and living environments, health and nutrition, consumer protection, material wellbeing and more. But 20 years have gone by, and with it, a continuous and remarkable growth in the older population that, with no signs of waning, bears immense implications for society. We have entered a new century, and some of the Plan's language and policy recommendations fall short of today's demographic and socioeconomic realities. The United Nations Secretariat has already begun to facilitate the important process of bringing the Plan into the 21st century, together with a Long-Term Strategy on Ageing, for the World Assembly on Ageing in 2002. Your contribution to this process is invaluable, and that is why we urge you to take the time to read and respond to our communiqués in the following months.

The General Assembly approved at its current session, the recommendation of the Commission for Social Development, to "…convene a Second World Assembly on Ageing in 2002, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Vienna World Assembly on Ageing, devoted to the overall review of the outcome of the first World Assembly, as well as to the adoption of a revised plan of action and a long-term strategy on ageing, encompassing its periodic reviews, in the context of a society for all ages"

Welcome to The New Database Website of Policies and Programmes on Ageing

On Friday, 11 February 2000, a new United Nations web site was officially launched during the Commission for Social Development, which posts an international database of policies and programmes on ageing. The first of its kind on a global scale, this database project was developed by the United Nations Programme on Ageing, in collaboration with the Institute for Applied Gerontology Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and SeniorWeb, and funded by the Government of the Netherlands. Its purpose, as a valuable information and networking tool, is to facilitate policy development at the national level in response to individual and population ageing, an undertaking that is sure to assist the international community as it prepares for the Second World Assembly on Ageing.

Although in its nascent stage, the database is expected to grow as more and more partners in ageing learn of its existence and potential. We encourage you to visit the web site, where every country's demographic picture is in view, along with an enumeration of policies, programmes, and contact information: www.un.org/esa/socdev/ageing/ppoa

The New Programme on Ageing Website

The United Nations programme on ageing is updating its website. Some of the prominent features of the website, including the IYOP page and activities during 1999 of Member States, the UN System, Intergovernmental organizations and Non governmental organizations, will be condensed to make room for preparations leading up to 2002, including new material to stimulate action and continue the momentum towards A Society for All Ages. Please visit us at www.un.org/esa/socdev/ageing.

Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Social Policy and Development
UN Programme on Ageing - The United Nations Secretariat
For the World Assembly on Ageing
Room DC2-1358, 2 UN Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10017
Website: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/ageing

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Division for Social Policy and Development
Last Updated: 28 December 2000.   Comments and suggestions: sidorenko@un.org