MR. ANDY RACHMIANTO (COUNSELLOR)
PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
The Third Working Session of Open Ended Working Group on Ageing
New York, 21-24 August 2012
Allow me first of all to congratulate you on your re-election as Chairman of this important Working Group.
This year,the international community commemorated World Health Day with the theme "Ageing and Health". In addition to marking 10 years of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, the selection of the theme is also timely because of the increasingly high proportion of elderly people who make up the world's population.
In today’s world of globalization, the higher mobility of population can have serious implications forthevalue systems of different societies. Consequently, the increased number of elderly people can have broad impacts, ranging from the political, economic, and social to the cultural.
Ageing population is therefore a critical challenge facing health systems around the world. According to the figures provided by the UNDESA, the sizeof the world's elderly population, namelypeople 60 years and older, is approaching 760 million. Their numbers are growing, even as we discuss their situation. By 2050, this segment of global society is forecast to reach 2 billion or 22% of the world’s population.
This demographic change can cause major problems if we do not prepare for it early. Not just families but governmentsand societies on the whole must act, ascare for elderly people requires specific health policies and programmes tomaintain their quality of life.
A number of studies have concluded that the 21st century is an important turning point for the world’s ageing population.Improved health technologies and services have caused the life expectancies of older persons to be extended and their increases in number have occurredmostly in less developed countries.
In Indonesia alone,the number of elderly people is estimated to reach 28.8 million people by 2020,or about 11 percent of the total population. By 2050 we anticipate that their numbers would have doubled.
More importantly, about 50 percent of the elderlyinIndonesia still work to make ends meetand still have to function as heads of households and the economic backbone of their families. This reality shows that elderlypeoplein Indonesia remain actively involved and have been contributingto our society.
With itsenormous development potential, Indonesia intends to continue making full use of the talents and wisdom of the older generation who have been helping to maintain the pace and quality of its development process.
Indonesia will continue to initiate action aimed at sustaining the health, strength and vitality of this particular segment of its society. Indicative of this is the aging movement which was initiated in Indonesia through the formation of coalitions to benefit the aged population. These coalitions, in operation since 1997, consist of various relevant stakeholders at the national and regional levels, including government agencies, academic and other institutions,as well as groups of older activist persons.
Our 2003 National Plan of Action for Older Persons Welfare Guidelines wasalso developed in response to the Second World Assembly on Ageing held in Madrid and the meeting held in Shanghai in 2002 to formulate the International Implementation Strategy on Ageing.
During the period spanning the enactment of Law No. 13/1998 on Older Persons Welfare up to the Presidential Decree No. 93/2005 on the Appointment of Membership to the National Commission for Older Persons 2005-2008, a number of Laws and Regulations were specifically enacted to address matters related to the elderly population of Indonesia.
Moreover, in line with the establishment of the “Healthy Indonesia” visionto achieve the highest degree of healthqualityfor the elderly, Indonesia has set thetheme of “Healthy independent and productivelife”, as the main focus of nationalprogrammesand policies to protect, promote and service therightsand dignity of elderly people in Indonesia.
In addition, the Government of Indonesia continues to make the concept of “Active Ageing” popular, as one way of sharing the social burden linked to the increasing number of elderly people in our society. In line with this, the creation and activation of a multi-generational workforce is an option being fully explored.
Against this backdrop, the need to have a proper legally binding international instrument on the rights of older persons must,in our view, continue to be pursued. We believe that a legal framework would define not only the rights of older persons, but also identify the responsibilities of Member States as well as provide criteria and steps needed for their protection.
However, the process to formulate a legally binding instrument should be part of informed decision and evidence-based data. It should be also corresponded with efforts to increase modalities to discuss the rights of older persons, not only from the perspective of social welfate, but also from a right-based approach.
In this respect, it would be timely if the Working Group couldconsider to make use the the on-going informal consultationsof the human rights treaty bodies and mechanismsto address some of the gaps identified inprotectingolder persons and to determine ways to better utilize existing instrumentsin that regard.
Finally, Indonesia wishes to call for actionsfrom countries and all relevant stakeholders to work hand in hand toprevent elderly people from being subjected to further negligence by younger generationsin our communities.
We truly hope today’s meetingwillserve as a forum to further raise awareness about the elderly and to discuss existing problems pertaining to ageing. Ultimately, we will all benefit from thissinceall of us will attain old age in the future.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
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