EGM on Building Forward Better for Older Persons post COVID-19, 2-5 March 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to an unprecedented halt and upended societies, and its ramifications are expected to be long lasting. The crisis has also intensified or brought to the forefront other trends, including rampant and growing inequalities, the vulnerability in economies around the world and in our social protection systems, including health care, and the impact human development has on the natural world.

Yet, such a volatile environment provides the opportunity to choose a different type of future. A deliberate concerted action could harness recovery efforts towards building more inclusive communities, and a more sustainable world. Older persons, who have faced specific and differentiated challenges during the pandemic, will continue to require an informed, inclusive and targeted response as countries engage in recovery efforts.

Building forward better initiatives should also harness the opportunities provided by demographic ageing, by changing the prevailing narrative on old age whereby older persons are considered a burden to society, towards one that recognize their contributions, realize their right to participation, and identify areas where older persons could further support recovery efforts if given the appropriate conditions.

With the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a background for discussions, this Expert Group meeting will bring together international experts, representatives of member states and relevant stakeholders to explore and propose some specific recommendations on how to ensure that ageing and older persons are adequately addressed, included, and actively engaged in post COVID-19 recovery efforts.

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