In 2016, 194 Countries adopted, at the World Health Assembly, a Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health (2016–2030). Informed by the evidence in the World report on ageing and health (2015) and aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Strategy calls for transformative change. Therefore, a decade of concerted action on Healthy Ageing is very much welcome to make changes happening.
The World Health Organization (WHO) released on 9 July the Draft Zero Proposal supporting the vision and action plan for such a decade and opened it for consultation. We submitted a contribution in order to underline our support to this Decade which will ideally be coordinated with other agencies of the United Nations (UN). Considering the work we do notably within the UN Open Ended Working Group on Ageing, any synergies with relevant UN bodies and stakeholders would be the best way to tackle the many challenges faced by older persons in Europe and worldwide.
We are also very supportive of the three main pillars, i.e. the focus on age-friendly cities & communities, integrated care and long-term care, while mainstreaming ageism in all areas. We also seized the opportunity of this consultation to underline some missing points and issues which should be strengthened such as:
- Linking up with stakeholders working on other discrimination ground to better answer the situation faced by specific groups of older persons like LGTBI older persons, older persons with a migrant background or older persons with disabilities;
- Taking into account older persons living in rural or sparsely populated areas and who can be in vulnerable situation considering the more difficult access to basic services they have;
- Developing methodologies to assess the cost of inaction in relation to long-term care;
- Fostering the alignment with the SDGs to better take into account the impact of climate change and air pollution for older persons’ health.
AGE has been working in close collaboration with the WHO for over a decade and is a network affiliates to the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. We have applied to be recognised as a “Non-state actor in official relationship with the WHO”.
Please note that the consultation of the WHO is opened for comments up to 8 September 2019.
Read the full contribution of AGE Platform Europe to WHO Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020-2030