SUMMARY: 2009 UN International Day of Older Persons

The 19th Annual Commemoration of the International Day of Older Persons held on October 8, 2009 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York was devoted to "Aging Activism: A Global Tool to Create a Society for All Ages."

The 2009 International Day of Older Persons was organized by the NGO Committee on Ageing/NY in collaboration with the UN Department of Public Information; the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and sponsored by the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Spain and Uruguay. 

The observance of the 2009 International Day of Older Persons focused on mobilizing the often unrecognized dynamism, intellect and power of older persons to maximize their participation in society and to improve their quality of life and for all generations. The event presented keynote speakers and representatives from the World's five regions providing global, regional and local perspectives.

Featured speakers included Kiyotaka Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, United Nations; Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, President of the sixty-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly; Madame Nora Berra, Secretary of State for the Elderly, France; Jean-Marie Ehouzou, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration, La Francophonie, and Beninese Abroad, Republic of Benin; H. E. Ambassador Mr. Mohammed F. Al-Allaf, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; H. E. Ambassador D. Juan Antonio Yez-Barnuevo, Spain; H. E. Ambassador Regina Maria Cordeiro Dunlop, Brazil; and Barbara Crossette, United Nations Correspondent for The Nation.

This commemoration was attended by approximately 600 persons at the UN Headquarters representing governments, non-governmental organizations, civil society, foundations, the private sector and policy makers. The NY commemoration was held simultaneously as countries around the world organized gatherings in observance of the International Day of Older Persons.

"Over the past decade, we intensified our efforts to build a 'society for all ages' and to promote international commitment to the United Nations Principles for Older Persons," said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his message for the International Day of Older Persons.  The motto "towards a society for all ages" emphasizes the need to treat older persons as both agents and beneficiaries of development, he explains.  "This emphasis -- and the United Nations principles -- take on even greater importance as the world struggles to confront global food, energy, climate, financial and economic crises," Mr. Ban added.

NGO Committee on Ageing • PO Box 1854 • New York, NY • 10163-1854