Menu of ideas for National Activities

Core Structures

1. Appoint a 1999 lead agency or focal point (i.e., an agency or individual to act as information source, and/or convene an exploratory meeting to set up the 1999 committee of all interested parties).

2. Establish a 1999 committee (large membership):

Members could include traditional actors — government ministries, organizations of older persons, gerontological institutes, etc. and non-traditional actors — the media, youth organizations, schools and universities, development agencies and environmental groups, foundations, women’s and indigenous organizations, religious, professional and business entities.

(Note: Many national affiliates of international federations are already making preparations for the Year and could be valuable assets for 1999 committees.)

3. Prepare a 1999 programme, with promotional and developmental elements (listed below), as well as outreach to local areas and international contacts.

4. Establish a secretariat and budget. Retired persons could form or augment a core secretariat.

5. Establish a fund.

Promotional Measures for 1999

1. Declare, for national observance, the year 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons: towards a society for all ages.

2. Declare, for national observance, 1 October, the International Day of Older Persons.

3. Adopt, translate and distribute the United Nations Principles for Older Persons.

4. Establish a national calendar and data bank of initiatives to assist information exchange and collaboration.

5. Invite citizens (mayors, community leaders, writers, homemakers, caregivers, etc.) to give their views on a society for all ages or on old age in a new age.

6. Organize media debates on lifelong individual development or on changing multigenerational relationships in family and society.

7. Organize national fairs, with display booths for government ministries, non-governmental organizations, foundations, enterprises, etc.

8. Engage the academic community in the exploration of the principles and practices of an age-integrated society (i.e., a society for all ages).

9. Get ideas from national reports on other International Years, such as of the Family (1994) or for the Eradication of Poverty (1996).

10. Celebrate older persons and ageing on other days, for example on international days for health, women, volunteering.

11. Organize national conferences on selected priorities, which might include, for example:

(a) Multigenerational relationships in family and society: interdependence (measures of independence and dependence);

(b) Flexible work and retirement: part-time work, second careers, worker-caregiver conflicts, etc.;

(c) Caregiving structures, new and sustainable partnerships: home care, long-term care systems, insurance, gender issues;

(d) Rural ageing and development: community enterprises, appropriate technologies, etc.;

(e) Cities for all ages: innovations in living arrangements, services, etc.;

(f) Technologies for all ages: new tools for work and living, agri-tools for elders, etc.;

(g) Towards a society for all ages: adjusting infrastructure; adjusting perceptions;

(h) Lifelong individual development: the content and the context of lives are changing;

(i) Old age in a new age: scenarios for 2000, 2020 and 2050.

Developmental Measures for 1999 and Beyond

1. Consult the Short Guide for Setting National Targets on Ageing.

2. For long-term issues and priorities, contact the National Coordinating Mechanism on Ageing.a

3. Integrate long-term issues and priorities into 1999 preparations — late-life labour, flexible retirement, caregiving strategies, youth perspectives on longevity, multigenerational exchanges, etc.

4. Devise future scenarios for the year 2020.

Reaching the Local Areas

Thirty-eight suggestions are given in the Local Agenda on Ageing for the 1990s, encompassing neighbourhoods, families and individuals; the business sector; schools and colleges; and the media.

Reaching out internationally

1. Participate in the United Nations calendar-1999 to facilitate an exchange of experiences.

2. Consider preparing a comprehensive national report on 1999 and beyond for international distribution.

3. Twin with other countries (cities, universities), particularly north-south and east-west.

4. Host and/or participate in international studies, events or conferences.