United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Stakeholder Group on Ageing

Statement to OWG10 – Ageing in the Post 2015 Development Framework

My name is Helen Hamlin. I am here representing the Stakeholder Group on Ageing which represents a number of global networks working on ageing, and which works shoulder to shoulder with older people and youth across the world.

We commend and congratulate the Open Working Group chairs and Member States for the the breakthrough inclusion of population ageing and older people in the focus group document.

We urge you to continue and deepen this dialogue as you move your discussions forward.

The post 2015 framework is being developed at a time of major demographic change. The SDGs must reflect the reality of the world as we find it. We are all ageing. By 2030 older people will constitute 16% of the world's population and those over 60 will number more than those aged under 10. Women 50 and over already make up over 21% of the women of the world. The opportunities and challenges of increased longevity are pertinent to the present youth bulge as well the current and future age bulge. Inequality and poverty in later life are directly related to inequalities of opportunity experienced when young.

This is why the post 2015 framework must support a society of all ages, for all ages. Youth and older persons agree that the framework must be based on international human rights standards and principles, including universality, non-discrimination, equality, participation, empowerment and accountability.

We also agree that a monitoring framework is needed for the collection and reporting of progress for people of all ages. Disaggregated Data is needed to fully understand the global changes in age structure encompassing both the ‘youth bulge’ and the current and future ‘age bulge’, with its opportunities and challenges.

Therefore we recommend the following:

1. The framework must have an overarching social protection goal which ensures ‘all persons have social protection coverage during the life‐cycle’, as recommended by the ILO. This can be achieved through the extension of social security guarantees to all people, including older people, as part of comprehensive floors of social protection. Rights based social protection plays a key role in tackling poverty and inequality. Poverty is a core concern for people in older age and programming should be based on age-disaggregated data. Only 50% of older people globally have access to a pension and only 17% in least developed countries.

2. We support the health goal which stresses improving healthy life expectancy and maximising health from the cradle to the grave. This can be achieved through universal health coverage and prioritising the prevention and treatment of NCDs and CDs across the life span including HIV, TB and malaria.

3. We support a standalone gender equality goal inclusive of women of all ages, which tackles discrimination, violence and abuse throughout their lives, including the protection of assets, property and inheritance rights. Gender must also be mainstreamed throughout the SDGs.

4. Any goal on food security must be inclusive of people of all ages in line with the right of all human beings to live free from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. In a context where more than 70% of economically active people aged 60 and over in sub-Sahara Africa and Asia are engaged in agriculture, older people should be recognised for their contribution and included in all efforts to achieve this goal.

5. The framework should deliver to persons of all ages and abilities economic and personal security, education opportunities across the life course, guarantees of decent employment and an environment that enhances participation, active citizenship and freedom from age related discrimination across the life course.

We urge Member States to recognise the realities of an ageing world that is also intergenerational. We urge you to maintain and secure the language on people in older age as discussions progress. The post 2015 framework must be inclusive of people of all ages and ensure accountability to all across the life course. This requires attention to improved data that is disaggregated by age, sex and other factors and understanding of the diversity of these groups their intersecting issues and the impact of discrimination and inequality. This is why we call for a 'data revolution' that both uses existing data sets and also adjusts data systems to ensure those aged 50 and over are fully captured and age data gaps are filled.

The principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ means that no goals or target can be met unless it is shown to be met by all groups and must include age.

2nd April 2014

Further information

Jim Collins jcoll152@gmail.com
Sylvia Beales sbeales@helpage.org