Lifelong individual development

Individuals go through life experiencing a range of influences and interactions that may positively or negatively affect their capabilities in later years. Policies and programmes promoting lifelong learning, healthy lifestyles, workplace flexibility etc. can influence choices early in life, with cumulative effects. The International Plan of Action on Ageing, notes that "Preparation of the entire population for the later stages of life should be an integral part of social policies and encompass physical, psychological, cultural, religious, spiritual, economic, health and other factors".

National activities
Japan is promoting lifelong health improvement, learning and skills development, and lifelong stable and comfortable living environments in accordance with its Basic Law on Measures for the Ageing of Society. Chile has formed an interuniversity commission to incorporate the theme of ageing into early academic study.

Australia will examine vitality, meaning, and fulfilment throughout life in a conference "Growing Into Wisdom" in October 1999. India and Albania launched media campaigns to advocate the need to undertake lifelong preparation for old age, and Slovakia included writers, representatives of religious organizations and the financial sector in its examination of lifelong development issues. Liechtenstein encouraged midlife programmes that prepare persons for retirement under the watchword "Ageing with success". Slovenia convened a round table on lifelong individual development and the consequences of unhealthy lifestyles, and Panama organized a literary contest in secondary schools on the relationship between lifestyle and health in later life.

United Nations system and international non-governmental organizations
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will co-sponsor the Life-long Learning Colloquium with AARP (September 1999, New York). The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Global Movement for Active Ageing, a worldwide promotional walk that will embrace the globe for 24 hours on 2 October 1999, with events beginning in Tonga and New Zealand and proceeding around the globe. (This is also known as the Global Embrace.) The Geneva International Network on Ageing (GINA) has worked in close collaboration with WHO in implementing the Global Embrace. The Loretto Religious Community in the United States convened a conference that explored new manifestations and applications of wisdom over the life course.