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World Nations Urged To Address Needs Of Aging Population
228 days ago
(RTTNews) - A U.N. report released on Monday urged governments across the globe to take immediate steps to address the needs of their elderly population, stressing that it is currently the fastest growing population segment in the world.
The report titled 'Aging in the Twenty-first Century: A Celebration and a Challenge' was jointly produced by the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) and HelpAge International for addressing issues related to the well-being of the wold's steadily growing elderly population.
According to UNFPA, developing countries will account for about 80 percent of the world's older people by 2050. The U.N. agency has also predicted that people aged 60 and above will outnumber the under-15 population in another 40 years.
The report urged governments to put policies and practices in place to support their current older populations, and prepare for 2050 when they will outnumber the younger population.
It stressed that the trend of aging societies presents huge challenges as it requires new approaches to health care, retirement, living arrangements and inter-generational relations.
Noting that more than 100 countries have already initiated steps in this direction by implementing non-contributory social pensions in recognition of old age poverty, the report stressed that those steps are only part of what is required to ensure that the rights of older persons are protected.
The report noted that many older persons all over the world are currently facing continued discrimination, abuse and violence despite their social and economic contributions to society, and highlighted the need for governments, civil society and the general public to work together to end these destructive practices and invest in older people.
The report carried accounts of 1,300 older men and women who participated in group discussions in 36 countries around the world. UNFPA said their stories and testimonies supported efforts to better understand and meet their needs.
"Aging is a lifelong process that does not start at age 60. Today's young people will be part of the two billion-strong population of older persons in 2050. This report shows that, with actions taken now, we can all benefit from the longevity dividend - increasingly in the developing world - now and in the future," UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said at the report's launch in Tokyo.
Meanwhile, U.N. secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that the rapid increase in aging population as well a steady increase in human longevity worldwide represent one of the greatest social, economic and political transformations of our time.
"These demographic changes will affect every community, family and person. They demand that we rethink how individuals live, work, plan and learn throughout their lifetimes, and that we re-invent how societies manage themselves," he added.
Incidentally, the U.N. chief made the comments in a message issued on Monday to mark the International Day of Older Persons, which coincided with the report's release.
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