UN-HABITAT and the International Council for Caring Communities last week held a conference to address the problems facing older members of society.
At the opening of the conference, UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka challenged the delegates to find innovative ways to ensure that senior citizens could be readily integrated into civic life. She also challenged the assembled audience to think about how better conditions for all ages could be constructed even in the most difficult of urban environments.
Statistics show that every month 1.2 million people turn 60 years old. Currently, only one in ten people are over 60 but by 2050, this figure will have doubled. The aging of the world’s population has not been given due attention and it was to redress this balance that UN-HABITAT joined forces with the International Council for Caring Communities to organize the conference entitled Caring Communities for the 21st Century: Imagining the Possible.
Mr. Muni Akram, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and permanent representative of Pakistan, reinforced the call for innovations using computer-based technologies, pointing out that ECOSOC had been instrumental in establishing a task force to encourage ready community access to digital technologies. During the full day conference, delegates heard about how telecentres were helping to bring together communities in Ecuador and how information and communication technologies could be used to achieve socio-economic development for all ages.