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WHATThe Department of Economic and Social Affairs Aging is the division of the United Nations, which addresses International matters related to aging. The main objective is to promote the Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging which aims to build a society for all ages through government policy, advocating aging related issues, and engaging civil and private sectors to discuss aging related issues.
WHYTo promote age friendly communities around the world by addressing aging related issues in policymaking, increasing awareness of the rights of older adults and the continual work of researching and reporting on worldwide related aging issues.
WHEREUnited Nations.
Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Program Description

"There are approximately 810 million persons aged 60 years or over in the world in 2012 and this number is projected to grow to more than 2 billion by 2050."

"The older population is itself aging. Currently, the oldest old population (aged 80 years or over) accounts for 14 per cent of the population aged 60 years or over. The oldest old is the fastest growing age segment of the older population. By 2050, 20 per cent of the older population will be aged 80 years or over. The number of centenarians (aged 100 years or over) is growing even faster, and is projected to increase tenfold, from approximately 343,000 in 2012 to 3.2 million by 2050.

source: Population Division United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Aging promotes the following programs and agenda.

Human Rights of Older Persons - the rights of older adults including reports on the status of their social situation, well being, and participation in development worldwide.

The Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging adopted at the Second World Assembly on Aging in April 2002 marked a turning point in how the world addresses the key challenge of 'building a society for all ages.' The Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging is a resource for policy makers, Governments, non-governmental organizations, and others to change the way society sees, interacts and cares for older adults.

The Madrid Plan of Action focuses on promoting age friendly communities and the following areas:

  • Older persons and development
  • Advancing health and well-being into old age
  • Ensuring enabling and supportive environments for older adults

Data On Worldwide Aging such as demographics of the aging population and poverty in older adults which data shows to be higher than for the rest of the population.

UN Reports and Resolutions

Papers and Publications

UN Network on Aging - Newsletter

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) which was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly and held each year on June 15th.

The Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) is a part of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) of the United Nations Secretariat. In addition to advocating for the social inclusion of older persons the organization also works to  promote international cooperation for eliminating poverty, promoting productive employment, assisting youth, family, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, persons in situations of conflict and others marginalized from society and development.

Senior Friendly Communities
Aging Awareness and Sensitivity Programs




Find out more about the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Aging

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