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120630 Global AgeWatch Policy Brief 3 Sustainable development in an ageing world


120630 Global AgeWatch Policy Brief 3 Sustainable development in an ageing world

Achieving sustainable development to ensure the wellbeing of all people is a global development goal. In the Rio+20 conference in June 2012 in Brazil, commitments to make sustainable development a reality today and in the future should be renewed. Decent jobs for all, energy, sustainable cities, food security, water, oceans and disasters are highlighted as priority areas. Demographic change and a rapidly ageing population in developing countries is an overarching policy issue that requires urgent attention in the Rio+20 discussions.

Global ageing is one of the most fundamental issues of our time. Those over 60 already constitute 11 per cent of the world’s population, and this number is increasing. By 2030, there will be more people 65 and over than children under five. By 2050, they will account for 22 per cent of the global population.

Key messages
• Global ageing, like climate change, is one of the fundamental issues of our time.
• The opportunities and challenges of global ageing should be central in the sustainable development agenda. Growing numbers of older women and men are both affected by environmental change and could be key contributors to the planet’s sustainability.
• Policies supporting the contributions of active, secure, resilient and healthy ageing populations must be supported and reflected in the outcomes of the Rio+20 summit and post-2015 development framework.
• National social protection mechanisms for the poorest and most vulnerable, including regular income through social (non-contributory) pensions, and investment in primary health care systems are key to addressing poverty, to protect older people and to create opportunity.