UN Chief Says Protecting Older Persons’ Rights will benefit All of Humanity

Addis Ababa, October 01/2023 (ENA) Protecting the dignity and human rights of older persons, and addressing the challenges they face in society will ultimately benefit all of humanity, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said.

The global community is observing the UN International Day of Older Persons today under the theme "Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations."

Observed annually on 1 October, the Day aims to raise awareness of the challenges and issues faced by older persons worldwide.

The day also seeks to promote the importance of respecting and caring for older persons and to highlight their significant contribution to society.

In a message commemorating Sunday’s International Day of Older Persons, UN Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the pervasive issue of ageism in society and the vulnerability of older persons in the face of crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, poverty and climate emergencies.

“Addressing these and other issues is a human rights imperative that will benefit everyone,” he said.

Studies show that number of people aged 65 years or older worldwide is projected to more than double – rising from 761 million in 2021 to 1.6 billion in 2050 – with the number of people aged 80 years or older growing even faster.

This further underscores the urgency of strengthening the protection of the human rights of current and future generations of older persons around the world.

Guterres highlighted that older persons can make significant contributions in terms of their knowledge and experience, and have the potential to contribute to peace, sustainable development and the protection of the environment.

“We must ensure their active engagement, full participation, and essential contributions – including through social and workplace policies built around their specific needs,” he said.

He also emphasized the need for intergenerational dialogue and unity as vital components of building more inclusive and age-friendly societies and a resilient world for everyone.


Ethiopian News Agency