International Year of Older Persons, 1999: activities and legacies
Adapted from the
Report of the Secretary-General (A/54/268);
Social development, including questions relating to the world social situation and to youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family

In resolutions 52/80 and 53/109, the General Assembly requested States to participate, at an appropriate global policy-making level, in the four plenary meetings which it had decided should be devoted at its fifty-fourth session to the follow-up to the International Year of Older Persons. In resolution 53/109 the Assembly also invited broad participation in the Year and requested the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the resolution to its fifty-fourth session. The present report is prepared in response to that request. Section II summarizes selected activities in observance of the Year. Section III analyses the impact of the Year on the orientation and substantive content of the United Nations programme on ageing. And the annex summarizes highlights from an expert consultation in devising a policy framework for "a society for all ages", introducing for further exploration and debate a new "architecture of ageing", one that is holistic, preventative, sustainable, and possibly even "wealth-creating".

The four plenary meetings being devoted to the Year and its follow-up are scheduled for 4 and 5 October, shortly after the International Day of Older Persons (1 October). The Consultative Group for the International Year of Older Persons assisted the Commission for Social Development in guiding preparations for the Year and also served as an informal forum for discussing national and international proposals and initiatives. The United Nations programme on ageing served as the secretariat for the International Year. The programme on ageing, which is located in the Division for Social Policy and Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, spearheaded a year-long debate on ageing in a changing world.