Marking ‘Day of Families,’ Ban stresses growing importance of intergenerational solidarity

Following time in Pakistan, an Afghan returnee family awaits assistance from UNHCR in Kabul. Photo: Fardin Waezi/UNAMA

Supportive relationships between family members from different generations are more important now than ever before to face unemployment and other current social and economic challenges, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, marking the International Day of Families.

“Unemployment is forcing many young people, often eager for independence, to rely on their parents longer than they would have hoped. The lack of affordable and quality childcare is complicating efforts by parents in dual-earner families to combine their work and home obligations. Inadequate pensions and care for older persons demands more attention as we succeed in our goal of extending lives,” Mr. Ban said in his message for the Day, observed annually on 15 May.

“These challenges make family support more important than ever – for the young person seeking a job while living with their parents, for the grandparent who relies on their children for shelter and care and for the many members of extended families who take on childcare responsibilities.”

Mr. Ban stressed that family members deserve support from policy-makers, public institutions and private businesses, and he called for strengthening policies that promote intergenerational solidarity.

“Evidence shows that adequate pensions and caregiver support help not only older persons but whole families,” he said. “Intergenerational programmes promoting volunteering among the young and old benefit all generations. Opportunities for people of all ages to bond revitalize whole communities.”

He added that these types of initiatives also address global development priorities as they counteract inequality and exclusion and encourage active citizenship and through community-based projects.

“On this International Day of Families, I call on Governments, civil society, families and individuals to support initiatives that bring people together across generations toward building a healthier world for all,” he said.

Source: UN News Centre

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