World Data Forum event on older persons

HLPF Side Event: COVID-19 Pandemic: A Stress Test of Global Ageing, 6 July 2021

Older Persons have been among the first and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In many respects the pandemic could be viewed as a test of how prepared/or not Member States are for the rapidly ageing society. Pandemics disrupt and have the potential to drive change. Only a whole-of-society, whole-ofgovernment approach can respond effectively to the dynamic challenges of this time. In his report, the Secretary-General presented new research on how longevity has the power to transform labour markets, economies and societies. The recently released WHO Global Report on Ageism show that one in two people hold ageist attitudes towards older people. This side event will focus on: Health and Long Term Care, Economic Development and Work and Technology in ageist environment during the pandemic.

Side event details

Date and Time: 6 July 2021, 1300-1430 (New York time)


Official Flyer

Concept Note

Welcome Remarks: Ms. Erica Dhar, Co-Chair, Stakeholder Group on Ageing

Moderator: Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing

Keynote: Prof. Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics, London Business School

Remarks: H.E. Ms. Barbro Westerholm, Member of Parliament, Sweden


  • Dr. Ad van Berlo, Chief Executive Officer and R&D Manager, Smart Homes
  • Ms. Aura Sevilla, Programme Consultant for South East Asia and Older Workers, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)
  • Ms. Grace Chan, Business Director, Hong Kong Council of Social Service Special Respondent

Special Respondent: Mr. Steve S. J. Lee, Organizing Partner, Major Group for Children and Youth

Closing Remarks: Ms. Amal Abou Rafeh, Chief of the Programme on Ageing Unit, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)