IAHSA is an NGO with Special Consultative Status at the United Nations’ Department of Social and Economic Affairs. Below is a quick recap of what your Global Ageing Network has been doing at the United Nations in the last few months:

  • UN Conventions for the Rights of Older Persons
    • IAHSA’s representative to the United Nations serves on the executive committee of the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (OWEG).
    • OWEG promotes the convening of a UN Convention for the Rights of Older Persons.  The Convention would seek to establish a multilateral treaty that requires governments put in place appropriate national policies and programs that allow persons to participate and live as an active member of society and protect them from discrimination.
    • OWEG achieved an important milestone on 19 November 2010, when the General Assembly passed resolution A/C.3/65/L.8/Rev.1. The resolution established “an open-ended working group, open to all States Members of the United Nations, for the purpose of strengthening the protection of the human rights of older persons by considering the existing international framework of the human rights of older persons and identifying possible gaps and how best to address them.”
  • Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
    • IAHSA continues to be involved in efforts to make older adults an integral part of the UN’s MDGs efforts.
    • Letter was sent to General Secretary Ban Ki-moon in September 2010.
  • Resolution for Widowhood
    • IAHSA supported the Resolution for Widowhood that was presented at the 55th session of the Commission on Status of Women in February 2011.
    • The resolutions asks that the United Nations carries out a report on the effects of conflicts in widows, appoints a Special Representative for Widowhood, and designates funds to support widowhood organizations.  The resolution also urges member states to provide desegregated data based on marital status and to support an international meeting on widowhood.
  • International Day of Older Persons
    • IAHSA’s representative to the United Nations serves in the steering committee for the International Day of Older Persons celebration that is held every 1st October at the UN headquarters in New York.
    • The 2010 theme of the commemoration was “Older persons and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”. The 2010 celebration also marked the twentieth anniversary of the UN International Day of Older Persons.
  • UN Women
    • The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) became operational in January 2011.
    • IAHSA sent a letter requesting continuous attention to the needs of older women from the organization to UN Women Executive Director, Michelle Bachelet, upon her appointment.

In addition to these initiatives, IAHSA continues efforts to influence Civil Society with positions which advance the older persons in the Commissions held in February and May and during the General Assembly meetings in the fall.