The World Celebrates the Older Person!
The United Nations International Day of Older Persons every year on October 1st (Monday, October 2nd, this year) serves as a reminder of the invaluable contributions of older individuals to our societies and a call to action for addressing our challenges.
In 2023, The event took place at the UN headquarters in NYC, and all were invited to register and attend free of charge.
This year, over two hundred people registered, a record for the event. I was privileged to be one of them, attending as a Representative to the UN from the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) and a member of the NGO Committee on Ageing NY.
A Brief History of the Importance of UNIDOP
The International Day of Older Persons was officially designated by the United Nations in 1990. It was established to raise awareness about the issues affecting older people and to promote their well-being. The date, October 1st, coincided with the International Year of Older Persons, celebrated in 1999. Since then, this day has been observed globally to honor and appreciate older individuals' wisdom, experience, and contributions.
The 2023 Celebration Centered Around Inter-Generational Solidarity to Fight Ageism, the Intersectionality of Inequalities that Expand as We Age, and the Need for Age-Friendly Physical and Natural Environments
Making a video presentation, Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, set the stage regarding the importance of creating inclusive societies that value the knowledge and experience of older individuals. He also spoke about the need to address issues such as elder abuse, healthcare access, and social isolation, some of the challenges older persons often face.
Another prominent speaker was Dr. Jane Smith, a renowned gerontologist and advocate for the rights of older people. Dr. Smith shared her insights on the positive impact of older individuals on inter-generational relationships, emphasizing the importance of fostering connections between generations.
Ageism and The Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing
One of the key topics discussed during the event was the work of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing. The United Nations General Assembly established this working group to examine the human rights of older persons and address the gaps in international human rights instruments. It plays a crucial role in advocating for the rights and well-being of older individuals globally.
Convention on the Human Rights of Older People
The Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing works towards the adoption of a convention on the rights of older persons. Such a convention would provide a comprehensive framework for protecting the rights of older individuals, addressing issues like discrimination, social exclusion, and access to healthcare and social services.
The International Day of Older Persons serves as a platform to highlight the progress made by this working group and to rally support for its mission. It is a reminder that older individuals deserve to live with dignity and respect and that their contributions to society are invaluable.
As we celebrate this day, let us remember that aging is a natural part of life, and we must ensure that older individuals can age with dignity and grace.
Let us also remember that not all of us have the health, means, and relationships to thrive as we age.
Here is what you can do now:
- Feel the beauty of your age and be aware if you have a propensity toward ageism against older and younger people.
- Write to your policymakers to support a Treaty on the Human Rights of Older Persons.
- Join our Ageless Traveler Facebook Salon to get tool kits that support your organization's efforts to fight ageism.
- Discover at our Facebook Salons how you can effectively advocate for yourself and your cause.
- Listen to our podcasts and contribute to our blog so your voice can be heard as we travel together as active adults and celebrate aging all year. Click Here
- Travel with us for like-minded people who see travel as essential to connecting and contributing to the world in which we live.
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