International Day of Older Persons

Theme 2022:Resilience of older people in a changing world

The overarching theme of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons in 2022 is “Older people’s resilience in a changing world”. This theme will be celebrated by the NGO Committees on Aging in New York, Geneva and Vienna, each with a unique and complementary approach to the overall theme. See below for more information.

New York Commemoration: “Resilience and Contributions of Older Women”

He COVID-19 The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities, with the last three years intensifying socioeconomic, environmental, health and climate impacts on the lives of older people, especially older women who make up the majority of older people.

As long as older women continue to contribute significantly to their political, civil, economic, social, and cultural life; their contributions and experiences remain largely invisible and neglected, constrained by gendered disadvantages accumulated throughout life. The intersection between discrimination based on age and gender exacerbates new and existing inequalities, including negative stereotypes that combine ageism and sexism.

The 2022 theme of the International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) serves as a hallmark and reminder of the important role older women play in overcoming global challenges and contributing to their solutions with resilience and strength.

Recognizing the vital contributions of older women and promoting the inclusion of their voices, perspectives and needs are essential to create meaningful policies to enhance a holistic response to local, national and global challenges and catastrophes, UNIDOP 2022 is a call to action and a targeted opportunity to embrace the voices of older women and showcase their resilience and contributions in society, while promoting policy dialogues to enhance the protection of older people’s human rights and recognize their contributions to sustainable development.

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Objectives of #UNIDOP2022:

  • Highlight the resilience of older women in the face of environmental, social, economic and lifelong inequalities.
  • Raise awareness of the importance of improving data collection globally, disaggregated by age and gender.
  • Call on member states, UN entities, UN Women and civil society to include older women at the center of all policies, ensuring gender equality as outlined in the Secretary General’s report, Our Common Agenda.


On December 14, 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons (resolution 45/106). This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Agingwhich was adopted by the World Assembly on Aging in 1982 and approved that same year by the UN General Assembly.

In 1991, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Persons (resolution 46/91). In 2002, the Second World Assembly on Aging adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Agingto respond to the opportunities and challenges of population aging in the 21st century and promote the development of a society for all ages.

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The composition of the world population has changed dramatically in recent decades. Between 1950 and 2010, life expectancy around the world increased from 46 to 68 years. Globally, there were 703 million people aged 65 and over in 2019. The East and South-East Asia region was home to the largest number of older people (261 million), followed by Europe and North America (over 200 million).

Over the next three decades, the number of older people worldwide is projected to more than double, reaching more than 1.5 billion people by 2050. All regions will see an increase in the size of the older population between 2019 and 2050. The largest increase (312 million) is projected to occur in East and South-East Asia, increasing from 261 million in 2019 to 573 million in 2050. The fastest increase in the number of older people is expected in North Africa and Western Asia, from 29 million in 2019 to 96 million in 2050 (an increase of 226 percent). The second fastest increase is projected for sub-Saharan Africa, where the population aged 65 and over could grow from 32 million in 2019 to 101 million in 2050 (218%). By contrast, the increase is expected to be relatively small in Australia and New Zealand (84 percent) and in Europe and North America (48%), regions where the population is already significantly larger than in other parts of the world.

Among the developing groups, the least developed countries, excluding the least developed countries, will be home to more than two-thirds of the world’s older population (1.1 billion) by 2050. However, the fastest increase is projected to be place in the least developed countries, where the number of people aged 65 or over could go from 37 million in 2019 to 120 million in 2050 (225%).

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Change the way you think about age!