20 January 1999
International Year of Older Persons: Towards a Society for all People
The General Assembly,
Recalling its Proclamation on Ageing,1/ in which, inter alia, it designated the year 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons,
Recalling also the conceptual and operational frameworks for the Year,2/
Convinced of the need to implement the International Plan of Action on Ageing 3/ and to promote adherence to the United Nations Principles for Older Persons,4/
Mindful of its resolution 40/30 of 29 November 1985, in which it expressed its conviction that older persons must be considered an important and necessary element in the development process at all levels within a given society,
Mindful also of the relevant provisions of the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development,5/ the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development,6/ the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, held at Vienna from 14 to 25 June 1993,7/ the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women 8/ and the Habitat Agenda adopted by the second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II),9/
Aware that, on the eve of the twenty-first century, the ageing of individuals and populations, unprecedented in the history of humankind, is having far-reaching effects on the way societies organize themselves, on relationships between the generations in families and communities, on the entire course of individual lives and on the terms, images and roles of older persons in their societies,
Mindful of the necessity to include a gender dimension in the preparations for the Year,
Wishing to promote investments to further lifelong human development and to preserve and support age-integrated social institutions,
Convinced that moving towards a society for all ages will require policies that strengthen individual lifelong development into late life, focusing on self-help and independence, and, relatedly and simultaneously, strengthen enabling environments of families, neighbourhoods, communities of interest and broad societal institutions based on principles of reciprocity and interdependence,
1. Notes with satisfaction the successful launching of the International Year of Older Persons, with the theme “A society for all ages”, on 1 October 1998 around the world and at United Nations Headquarters by the Secretary-General;
2. Takes note with appreciation of the valuable report of the Secretary-General on preparations for the International Year of Older Persons,10/ including its exploration of a society for all ages, presented for further debate by national committees and others;
3. Encourages all States, the United Nations system and all other actors, in reaching out for a future society for all ages, to take advantage of the Year so as to increase awareness of the challenge of the demographic ageing of societies, the individual and social needs of older persons, the contributions of older persons to society and the need for a change in attitudes towards older persons;
4. Welcomes the activities relating to older persons undertaken by States, United Nations organizations and bodies and non-governmental organizations devoted to raising awareness, networking, reaching out and looking ahead beyond 1999;
5. Encourages States that have not yet done so to establish a national focal point or broad-based committee for the Year, and re-emphasizes that activities for the Year should be initiated primarily at the national level;
6. Welcomes the redesignation of the intergovernmental support group as the Consultative Group for the International Year of Older Persons, and invites it to continue its contributions to the observance of the Year;
7. Recommends that the Commission for Social Development should mainstream the issue of older persons into the work of the Commission and the preparatory work for the special session of the General Assembly to review the World Summit for Social Development in the year 2000;
8. Calls upon States, United Nations agencies and bodies and institutions of civil society, including the research community, to avoid age and gender bias in their treatment of older women so as to ensure that all older women have equal access to the private sector and to social services and to ensure their full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms;
9. Encourages States to embody in appropriate legislation the rights of older persons to equal access to and the use of social services, including care-giving systems and support services, without any discrimination;
10. Urges that the issue of older persons be mainstreamed into the work of the United Nations and national socio-economic programmes and plans, as appropriate;
11. Invites national committees to consider the desirability of drawing up:
(a) A set of principles for a society for all ages;
(b) Practical strategies for a society for all ages aimed at mainstreaming ageing into programmes and policies, while ensuring that the immediate developmental, income-security and health-care needs of older persons are met;
12. Invites national and international development entities, foundations and enterprises to explore ways of improving the access of older persons to credit, training and appropriate technologies for income generation and their participation in family, community and small businesses;
13. Invites Member States, in the five-year review and appraisal of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, to examine the implications of individual and population ageing;
14. Invites the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat to continue its information campaign, intensifying, as feasible, its activities in January 1999 in support of countries that were unable to launch observances of the Year on 1 October 1998;
15. Recommends that research agendas for the next decades address the socio-economic adjustments required to move towards a society for all ages, focusing essentially on the lifelong and society-wide immediate and long-term implications of individual and population ageing within varied national contexts, and requests the United Nations programme on ageing to give priority attention to the research needs of developing countries;
16. Invites the United Nations Volunteers and organizations of older persons to evaluate the contributions of senior volunteers in creating societies for all ages, in keeping with the traditions, resources and aspirations of each country;
17. Notes with appreciation the valuable role of the media in the preparations for the Year and in raising awareness of it, and encourages the media, consistent with freedom of expression, to present non-stereotyped images of older persons;
18. Invites those institutions of civil society that are playing a vital role at the local, national and international levels in promoting the Year to focus their observance in 1999 of the International Day of Older Persons, 1 October, on the theme “Late-life potentials and contributions in a new age”;
19. Requests States to participate, at an appropriate global policy-making level, in the four plenary meetings which, in resolution 52/80 of 12 December 1997, it decided to devote at its fifty-fourth session to the Year and its follow-up;
20. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session on the implementation of the present resolution.
85th Plenary Meeting
1/ Resolution 47/5, annex.
2/ A/50/114 and A/52/328.
3/ See Report of the World Assembly on Ageing, Vienna, 26 July-6 August 1982 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.82.I.16), chap. VI.
4/ Resolution 46/91, annex.
5/ Report of the World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 6-12 March 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.8), chap. I, resolution 1, annexes I and II.
6/ Report of the International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 5-13 September 1994 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.95.XIII.8), chap. I, resolution 1, annex.
7/ A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.
8/ Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4-15 September 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.13), chap. I, resolution 1, annexes I and II.
9/ Report of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), Istanbul, 3-14 June 1996 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.97.IV.6), chap. I, resolution 1, annex II.
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