Opening of the Open-Ended Working Group on Aging

In order to strengthen the protection of the rights of older people, the fifth session of the Open- Ended Working Group on Aging (OEWGA) commenced today. Issues on the care of older people, violence and abuse against older people, and planning for end of life care were discussed.

Aging is one of the greatest social and economic challenges in the 21st century that we are currently facing worldwide. Representatives of the European Union stated that more than 20% of Europeans will be 65 years old or older by 2050. The EU has adopted a report last month, which underlines the importance of social investment in long-term care. It is necessary to provide adequate social protection connected to long-term care.

Furthermore, the representative of the United States highlighted that it is necessary to focus on developing practical measures to address the rights of older persons. In 2010, President Obama signed into law the Elder Justice Act, which is dedicated to the prevention, detection, treatment, intervention, and prosecution of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

images-13Furthermore, the issue of human rights of older persons has been on the agenda in Japan for a long time. Japan has the most rapidly aging population in the world. 25.1% of the population is aged 65 years old or older, and this percentage will reach 40% by 2060. The reasons for rapid aging are due to the improvement of living conditions and food quality, as well as the advancement in medical treatment, and the decline in the birth rate. Japan is currently promoting cooperation with ASEAN for Active Aging to exchange views with various countries and civil society in tackling this global issue. According to the World Health Organization, active aging is the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation, and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.

Meeting Title: Fifth Session of Open Ended Working Group on Ageing
Speakers: Mr. Mateo Estrémé, Chair of OEWGA; Representative of the European Union, the United States, Japan, Brazil, Colombia, Turkey, Switzerland, Sweden, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Costa Rica
Location: Conference Room 1, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Date: 30 July 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Samantha Kong
Edited By: Marli Kasdan

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