ESCAP Hosted a Regional Meeting on Ageing
The 2018 Asia-Pacific Regional Conference is taking place in Tehran from 23-25 October with the support of ESCAP (as well as Age International). Family, Community and State in Ageing Societies; hosted by UNFPA, HelpAge and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran; provides an opportunity to discuss how to address the problem of unprecedented, rapid ageing in the region. Traditionally, the family has been responsible for the care of older people, with intervention from the community and government when necessary. However, the pace of ageing, urbanization and migration (meaning that caregivers move away from their older family members) and increasing life spans mean that traditional arrangements are no longer sufficient to ensure older people can live in dignity.
Past policy discussions on the issue of social policies excluded the voices of older people, despite the right to participate in shaping policy and practice. The gender dimension of ageing — men tend to have shorter life spans than women, and many women have no entitlements to contributory pension schemes due to being employed in informal labour — must also be taken into account to ensure that policy and programmatic responses to the ageing population in Asia and the Pacific leave no one behind.
The expected outcomes of the Conference are:
- Greater understanding of how communities and governments can work together to support families facing challenges associated with rapid population ageing;
- Shared international experience in how countries shape their public policies, structures and services to adapt to demographic change;
- Wider and deeper networking among a range of organizations interested in ageing in the Asia-Pacific region and the Islamic Republic of Iran.