On October 1 each year, for the past 30 years, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Older Persons – a day for commemorating their achievements and celebrating their importance to society, but also for drawing attention to the problems that so many older people face. In an effort to focus our attention on these issues, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently declared the decade 2020-2030 the Decade of Healthy Ageing.
“Populations around the world are ageing at a faster pace than in the past,” explains the WHO. The UN’s Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals have drawn and continue to draw attention to the situation of older persons who all too often live in conditions of poverty (Goal 1), hunger (Goal 2), and ill health (Goal 3). At the same time, older persons who live in relatively good conditions and who often have time and energy at their disposal, can be a potent force in carrying out all of the seventeen Goals, if they can be mobilized effectively.
“A decade of concerted global action on Healthy Ageing is urgently needed,” says the WHO. “Already, there are more than 1 billion people aged 60 years or older, with most living in low- and middle-income countries. Many do not have access to even the basic resources necessary for a life of meaning and of dignity. Many others confront multiple barriers that prevent their full participation in society.”
“The Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030) is an opportunity to bring together governments, civil society, international agencies, professionals, academia, the media, and the private sector for ten years of concerted, catalytic and collaborative action to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live.” [ https://www.who.int/ageing/decade-of-healthy-ageing ]
The Universal Esperanto Association is proud of its activity among people of all ages, including its older members, who dedicate themselves to work for the public good, inform themselves about international life, and work to improve the relations among the various nations. Using Esperanto, they develop contacts and friendships across the divisions of language and significantly contribute to the creation of international understanding and contacts.
The Association congratulates the World Health Organization on its work for older persons and once again emphasizes its readiness to work with the UN, UNESCO and other international organizations to improve the lot of the older citizens of the world.
Universal Esperanto Association Office for Liaison with the United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017.  212-687-7041. www.esperantoporun.org.