Asian Symposium on Building Sustainable Ageing Societies

5 Jul 2012 to 6 Jul 2012
Changchun, China

1. Background

Population ageing is a global population trend. In particular, Asia accounted for 57% of the older persons (65 years or older) living in the world in 2010.

Within Asia, the subregion of North-East Asia is undergoing a demographic shift at an unprecedented speed in human history. In 2010, 1 in 10 persons living in North-East Asia was 65 years or older. In 2025, however, their proportion will increase to 1 in 5 persons, and in 2050, it is projected that 1 in 3 persons in the subregion will be 65 years or older.

At the global level, there has been exchange of views and policies on the impact of population ageing on a country's economic development, ranging from pessimistic forecasts to more optimistic views.

One of the main challenges of the ageing societies is the pressure that elderly care (including health and income support) will have on the country's fiscal sustainability and economic growth. One thing that is clear, however, is that older citizens are not idle beings, nor are they mere beneficiaries of social welfare benefits. They have been and will be contributors to the economy and the progress of societies at large with their multiple roles as producers, consumers, teachers of traditions, tenders of children in families, moral authorities in communities, and so on. The internationally agreed document, Madrid International Programme of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) proposes a social inclusion of older persons in all aspects of life in society.

The present Symposium proposes to strengthen the discussion and communication on ageing-related issues among countries in Asia, and to promote the development and cooperation in the region and beyond.

2. Objectives

Build the platform for sharing experience and good practices in building sustainable ageing societies.
Promote communication and cooperation among policymakers in Asia.
Discuss the strategies of dealing with ageing under the background of ICPD+20, Millennium Development Goals and the MIPAA review.

3. Expected outcome

Enhanced network and communication among the participating Ministries and experts.
Enhanced knowledge and awareness of policymakers on current initiatives and policy options related to population ageing.

4. Participating Countries: North-East Asian and South-East Asian countries, and resource persons from other countries.

5. Participants

Governmental officials from the Ministries in charge of population ageing;
Experts from academia and civil society organizations;
Officials from intergovernmental and international organizations

6. Co-organizers: UN ESCAP Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia, National Population and Family Planning Commission of China, and Jilin Provincial Government.