Friday, October 1st, 2021; / 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Washington DC time)
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) celebrated the kick-off in the Americas of the Decade for Healthy Aging (2021-2030) on the International Day of Older Persons (October 1). Proclaimed by the UN in December 2020 and aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Decade is the main current strategy to achieve and support actions to build a society for all ages. It sets an agenda that can reduce vulnerabilities and enhance the rights, capabilities and resilience of older persons.
The Americas have developed a very active work in the aging field over the last two decades to improve the lives of older persons. However, the rapid demographic transition, the political and economic instability, high diversity, and inequalities, require a greater effort to be made at the regional level.
As life expectancy and the proportion of older persons increases, many older adults in the Americas cannot access the basic resources needed for a life of meaning and dignity, and that many others experience barriers in achieving good health, social support, and wellbeing. Such barriers are exacerbated for older people in vulnerable settings and emergencies, as demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To address the challenges of population aging, and to ensure sustainable development in the Americas, multisectoral actions and interventions are required. The Decade of Healthy Aging is a unique opportunity to strengthen efforts in the Region, and to bring together leaders, organizations, and different stakeholders to work towards the Decade’s final goal: to improve the lives of older people, their families, and their communities.
The Decade calls for the creation of a regional interagency mechanism to promote, coordinate and implement the Americas' response to population aging and health inequities. Led by PAHO, this interagency mechanism will increase collaboration, participation and communication among UN agencies and the Inter-American agencies. It will also provide an opportunity to generate transformative change through inter-sectorial and multi-partnership initiatives that are responsive to the needs of current and future older populations.
More information on the Decade of Healthy Aging (2021-2030)