The Second World Assembly on Ageing took place in Madrid from 8 to 12 April 2002. The participating countries adopted two key documents: a Political Declaration and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002. Both documents included commitments from Governments to devise and implement measures to address the challenges posed by ageing. The documents also put forward over 100 recommendations for action based on three priority themes: older persons and development; advancing health and well-being into old age; and ensuring enabling and supportive environments. The Assembly gave the United Nations regional commissions responsibility for translating the International Plan of Action on Ageing into regional action plans reflecting, inter alia, the demographic, economic and cultural specificities of each region and serving as a basis for implementing the recommendations.
The Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing is the first international instrument on ageing, and provides a basis for the formulation of policies and programmes on ageing. It was endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982 (resolution 37/51), having been adopted earlier that same year at the World Assembly on Ageing in Vienna, Austria. It includes 62 recommendations for action addressing research, data collection and analysis, training and education, as well as the following sectoral areas: health and nutrition, protection of elderly consumers, housing and environment, family, social welfare, income security and employment, and education.