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Ageing - Countdown to 2002: No. 5, October 2001

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

The Chairman’s draft of the International Strategy for Action on Ageing is completed and distributed to Member States for Review .

International Strategy for Action on Ageing

The revised Plan of Action on Ageing, now known as the International Strategy for Action on Ageing, was submitted to Member States as a draft by the Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the Second World Assembly on Ageing at the end of August. The draft Strategy calls for changes in attitudes, in national and international policies and in community, corporate and other organizational practices so that the enormous potential of ageing in the twenty-first century is fulfilled. It seeks to ensure that people everywhere will be enabled to age with security and dignity, and continue to participate in their societies as citizens with full rights.

Chapter two of the draft contains the recommendations for action, which are organized according to three Priority Directions: development in an ageing world;
advancing health and well-being into old age; and ensuring enabling and supportive environments. These priority directions are designed to guide policy formulation and implementation toward a specific goal of successful adjustment to an ageing world, in which success is measured in terms of the improvement for older persons in quality of life and in the sustainability of the various systems – formal and informal – that underpin the quality of well-being throughout the life course.

ChapterThe central themes of the Strategy have strong links to United Nations Agreements and Commitments already in force, and are reflected in the recommendations designed to build a framework for action at national level. They include:

The draft of the International Strategy for Action on Ageing can be viewed on the webpage of the United Nations Programme on Ageing, at

Preparatory Committee for the Second World Assembly on Ageing

The substantive negotiations on the draft Strategy will be launched at the resumed first session of the Preparatory Committee for the Second World Assembly on Ageing, which will be held on 10 – 14 December 2001 in New York.

NGO Forum of the Second World Assembly on Ageing

A separate NGO Forum will also take place in Madrid from 4 - 9 April 2002, which follows its own procedures for registration. NGOs wishing to attend the Forum are
encouraged to contact the organization, Cruz Roja Spain, which is heading up the Organizing Committee. They can receive inquiries at the following address:

Her Royal Highness Princess Cristina of Spain: Goodwill Ambassador

Her Royal Highness Princess Infanta Doña Cristina of Spain has been designated Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Second World Assembly on Ageing.
The Infanta was appointed on 3 October 2001, and addressed the International Day of Older Persons celebration, by video, in New York. His Excellency Ambassador Arias of Spain introduced the video. The Infanta will work to promote and raise awareness of the World Assembly and to call attention to the many challenges presented by the ageing of our global society. According the Infanta, “I am committed to this role, not only because of Spain's involvement as the host country, but because I believe in the importance of seizing this opportunity to respond to a changing world”.

Mr. Marcel Marceau, the famed mime, was appointed Goodwill Ambassador in April of this year, and continues to use his art form to promote awareness of the Assembly.

International Day of Older Persons

The eleventh annual International Day of Older Persons was celebrated in New York on 4 October 2001. The celebration took place off of the premises of UN
Headquarters due to the tragic events of 11 September in New York City. The theme, “The Challenge for the Second world Assembly on Ageing: Building a Society
for All Ages”, was emphasized by the speakers, which included an eminent array of ambassadors, and the organizers, the NGO Committee on Aging, the Department of Public Information, and the programme on ageing of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.


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