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Ageing - Countdown to 2002: No. 2, July 2000

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

The United Nations Secretariat initiates preparations to pave the way for a Second World Assembly on Ageing in 2002.

Preparations Underway

reparations for the Second World Assembly on Ageing have begun. With the adoption of General Assembly resolution 54/262 (see below), the United Nations programme on ageing has initiated the process of revising the 1982 International Plan of Action on Ageing and developing a Long-Term Strategy on Ageing, a central mandate and substantive undertaking for the Second World Assembly on Ageing. The purpose of Countdown to 2002 is to periodically reflect on the many stages of this process. This issue is devoted to the first meeting of the technical committee, which is one component in the preparatory process to assist the Secretary-General in the formulation of proposals to the Commission for Social Development, the official preparatory committee for the Assembly.

Technical Committee: The First Meeting

One of the roles of the technical committee is to advise the Secretariat on the content of the Plan and Strategy; the role of the Secretariat is to draft the Plan and the Strategy, which will be subject to inter-governmental negotiation and approval by the General Assembly.

The first meeting of the technical committee, held in Frankfurt on 13-16 June, was made possible by the financial support of the Government of Germany, and hosted by the German Association for Public and Private Welfare. Fifteen experts from a cross-section of professional and geographic backgrounds participated in the Frankfurt meeting, all in their personal capacity.

The General Assembly decided, at its forty-forth session, 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" (Res 54/262).

Five areas regarding the revision of the Plan of Action structured the discussions over the four days: focus, framework, foundation, end-users, and format, as well as the development and content of the Long-Term Strategy on Ageing. Overall, special consideration was given during the meeting to the question of how to ensure that the future revised Plan and Strategy will pay particular attention to developing countries; experts suggested not to devote specific chapters to developed and developing countries, citing the tremendous diversity within those two categories. In addition, the concept of a society for all ages was agreed to be a valid approach to the organizational framework of the Plan of Action.

The other path suggested straightforward categories to underscore developing country concerns. They include: health; human rights; income security and employment; housing and environment; globalization; formal/informal care; family and multigenerational relations; research; education and training; and lifecourse development.

A second technical committee will take place in the Dominican Republic in autumn of 2000, with financial support from the Government of Spain.

The deliberations of the meetings, as well as input from the international community of Member States, the United Nations system, inter-governmental organizations, and international non-governmental organizations will be taken into consideration by the United Nations Secretariat on drafting the Assembly documents.

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

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