Question of the elderly and the aged

3137. Question of the elderly and the aged

The General Assembly, Recalling its resolution 2842 (XXVI) of 18 December 1971 on the question of the elderly and the aged, Noting Economic and Social Council resolution 1751 (LIV) of 16 May 1973 on the aged and social security, Bearing in mind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which emphasizes respect for the dignity and worth of the human person, especially article 25 thereof, Bearing in mind also that the protection of the rights and welfare of the aged is one of the main goals of the Declaration on Social Progress and Development,[1] Recognizing the growing interest for developing and developed societies alike in the fuller participation of the elderly in the mainstream of national societies, Noting that the status of the elderly in society varies from country to country, Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the question of the elderly and the aged[2] and the recommendations contained therein, Concerned about the growing magnitude of the problems of the aged accompanied by changes in the age structure of societies and the consequent increase in the proportion of the older sector of populations in a growing number of countries,

1. Expresses appreciation for the report of the Secretary-General on the question of the elderly and the aged" and the note prepared by the World Health Organization on the health concerns of the elderly and the aged;[3]

2. Draws the attention of Member States affected by the problem to the need for short-term and long-term policies and programmes for the elderly;

3. Recommends to Governments, in formulating such national policies and programmes, to take into account the guidelines suggested in the Secretary-General's report and to take appropriate action:

(a) To develop, as required and in accordance with their national priorities, programmes for the welfare, health and protection of older people, and their retraining in accordance with their needs, including measures aimed at maximizing their economic independence and their social integration with other segments of the population;

(b) To develop progressively social security measures to ensure that the aged, regardless of sex, receive an adequate income;

(c) To enhance the contribution of the elderly to social and economic development;

(d) To discourage, wherever and whenever the overall situation allows, discriminatory attitudes, policies and measures in employment practices based exclusively on age;

(e) To encourage the creation of employment opportunities for the elderly in accordance with their needs;

(f) To promote by all possible means the strengthening of the family unit;

(g) To stimulate bilateral and multilateral agreements of co-operation in the field of social security for the benefit of the aged;

4. Requests the Secretary-General, with the resources at his disposal and in co-ordinated co-operation with the specialized agencies concerned, to take appropriate action:

(a) To assist Governments, at their request, on questions of planning for the older sector of the population in the context of over-all development programmes and to help them develop the manpower needed to provide various functions in the field of aging;

(b) To continue to monitor the present and prospective changes in the numbers and proportions of the aged and their underlying demographic factors and, for this purpose, to maintain a system of collection and dissemination of information on aging;

(c) To undertake studies, drawing upon the expertise of the various competent bodies within the United Nations system and in consultation with its regional offices and with Governments, regarding the interrelationship between demographic, social and economic factors in aging;

(d) To promote research, at the international and national levels, for the further development of policies and standards, planning and evaluation methods and practical action in the field of aging;

(e) To promote scientific research on the subject of aging;

(f) To co-operate with bilateral and appropriate multilateral programmes interested in providing assistance to developing countries in the field of aging,

5. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Economic and Social Council in 1977, through the Commission for Social Development, a progress report on the action taken on the present resolution and to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-second session;

6. Requests the organizations of the United Nations system concerned with aging, the regional economic commissions and the appropriate non-governmental organizations having consultative status with the Economic and Social Council to give full support to the Secretary-General in this task;

7. Requests the Secretary-General, in the preparation of his report, to take into account the views expressed by Member States during the debate on the item in the Third Committee.

2201st plenary meeting,
14 December 1973

[1] Resolution 2542 (XXIV). [2]2A/9126 and Corr.1. [3] Ibid., annex III

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