New York 18 July 2017-- UN-Habitat cosponsored a side event at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development recently held at the UN-Headquarters in New York.

The event mainly focused on making sustainable development work at all ages, with a focus on eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity for older persons.

The side event participants included representatives of Member States, NGOs and UN agencies. Discussions centred on the situation of older persons in different contexts and explore ways of enhancing and mainstreaming ageing issues in support of SDG implementation and promote the rights of older persons, while developing sustainable partnerships.

UN-Habitat focuses its attention on the issues of ageing, poverty and prosperity in the context of the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda. The New Urban Agenda highlights the need to incorporate the voices and needs of the elderly into urban planning and management. Older persons must be recognized as active agents of societal development in order to achieve truly transformative, inclusive and sustainable development outcomes. Older persons face particular challenges in using public transport, accessing services, safety and income generation.

The 2030 Agenda which is based on the principle of ‘leave no-one behind.’ Yet, in order to achieve the Agenda’s call to end poverty in all forms everywhere, Governments and all stakeholders must coordinate to address issues associated with ageing populations, including income insecurity, adequate and decent housing, poor health, violence, abuse and discrimination on the grounds of age.

Aging populations are a current issue in many developed states, and will soon be for much of the developing world. As of 2015, there were 901 million people aged 60 or over comprising 12.3 per cent of the total global population. UN DESA 2015 In addition to aging, populations are growing increasingly urban, with 66 per cent of the global population expected to be living in urban settings by 2050. Traditionally, older persons are cared for by their families in rural settings, but in modern, urban societies the responsibility is falling more often to the state. These combined phenomena of aging and urbanizing populations creates significant challenges for national and local authorities.