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Towards a society for all ages in Latin America and the Caribbean: progress and challenges of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing

Enrique V. Iglesias Auditorium

Session |
Wed, 26/04/2023 - 13:00 to 14:30

Organizer: CELADE – División de Población de la CEPAL


sociedad para todas las edades

Side Event Goals
The Sixth Meeting of the Forum offers an adequate space to reflect, analyze and identify priorities with special reference to the commitments assumed in the Santiago Declaration, which is the regional road map for the next five years, to move towards full access to older persons to the protection and guarantee of their rights. Care and its importance for the sustainability of life, as well as the low visibility of the care sector in the economies of the region, is one of the topics that will be addressed in this panel.

The issue of care —which cuts across all the priority core focus of the Madrid International Plan of Action— has been one of those that has received the most attention in the countries of the region, both conceptually and in the field of policies. In light of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have agreed that it is urgent to implement a change in the style of development and welfare states to move towards a care society in which interdependence is recognized. between people, as well as between production processes and society; that is, a care society that places the sustainability of life and the planet at the center of development.

A second issue to be addressed, connected to the previous one, is comprehensive and specialized healthcare for the needs of older persons. This is one of the challenges posed by both the Madrid International Action Plan and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and which served as the basis for the proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly, in December 2020, of the Decade of Healthy Ageing 2021-2030. Added to this framework are the challenges derived from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has particularly affected older persons, who were exposed to a greater risk of death and continue to suffer complications and side effects as a result of the disease, as well as greater vulnerability. The lockdown measures also had negative effects on their mental health, their physical health and their social support networks.

Exposure to socio-environmental disasters of various kinds, as revealed during the COVID-19 pandemic, is also a relevant issue to address in the panel, since physical, political, economic and social factors can represent enormous challenges for the enjoyment of human rights. This is due to discrimination in access to services and unequal or inadequate treatment of older persons, which deepens when the intersection of age with other characteristics such as gender, socioeconomic status and disability status is taken into account, alongside migratory and ethnic-racial dimensions, among many others.

The Santiago Declaration also advocated moving forward with a proposal for a multilateral legal instrument in order to strengthen the international regime for the protection of older persons, in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolution 76/138 of December 16, 2021. In paragraph 22 of this resolution, Member States are encouraged to continue to contribute to the work of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, in particular by presenting measures to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights and dignity of older persons, such as best practices, lessons learned, and proposals for the possible content of a multilateral legal instrument.

These four topics are of the greatest interest to be addressed in the panel from the scope of the actions that the countries of the region have implemented and the challenges that arise in light of the Madrid International Action Plan, the 2030 Agenda for Development Sustainable Development, the Decade of Healthy Ageing, the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development, the Declaration of Santiago and the Inter-American Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Older Persons.