Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and A Challenge, is a landmark new report published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with support from all the main UN agencies, and HelpAge.
The world is growing old fast. In the next 10 years, the number of people over age 60 will surpass one billion. The report makes the case for governments, NGOs, global institutions, and civil society to fully commit to a concerted global effort to realign 21st century society to fit the realities of 21st century demographics.
Welcoming the new report, Rory Truell, IFSW Secretary General commented: ‘social workers all over the world are involved in supporting older people and their families, helping them to make the best choices about their future and to contribute to the society around them. Social workers also help organise and provide care for those coping with disability, those caring for older relatives and all those facing the challenges of old age.’
The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development commits IFSW and our global partners to “promote policies aimed at social integration and cohesion as a means for achieving the economic and social wellbeing of all persons, including older people and persons with disabilities, mental health needs and/ or learning difficulties”. ‘IFSW will work with any and all global partners to create the social conditions which enable older people to make their full contribution and will continue to show how social workers play a vital role in supporting older people all around the world’, Rory Truell concluded.
In his introduction to the report, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, writes: ‘This is a special year for ageing. The international community is observing the tenth anniversary of the Second World Assembly on Ageing, which was held in Madrid to respond to the opportunities and challenges of ageing in the 21st century. At that time, Member States committed themselves to pursuing policies that would enable people everywhere to age with security and dignity.
‘A comprehensive International Plan of Action on Ageing was adopted which defined objectives and actions to be taken by Governments, the international community, and civil society to help create a “society for all ages”……
‘We have achieved solid progress, but there are many challenges still to be addressed. And as the international community now embarks on an effort to articulate the post-2015 development agenda, it is clear that the issue of population ageing should be fully addressed as part of this process,’ Ban Ki-moon concluded.
Ageing in the 21st century – Executive Summary
Report in The Guardian newspaper
Report on the Deutsche Welle website