Older Persons & COVID-19: Strengthening rights and health through collective action

Since the onset of the pandemic, the United Nations has given priority to the needs of older persons in its collective preparedness and response action at global, regional and country level. The UN Secretary-General’s Policy Brief on the Impact of COVID-19 on Older Persons underscores the imperative of protecting the human rights of older persons and responding to their specific needs. The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ (UNDESA) Issue Brief on Older Persons and COVID-19 draws attention to the specific challenges and needs of older persons in the pandemic. The United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Technical Brief on Implications of COVID-19 for Older Persons provides guidance to UN Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams on scaling up urgent measures for older persons, in keeping with the UNFPA COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan. In addition to its COVID-19 Strategy, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) technical guidance on infection prevention and control, clinical management, and maintaining essential health services, including community-based health care, all cover older persons, as does its brief on COVID-19 and violence against older people. All of these documents provide recommendations for practical actions that countries can take at local, national and regional levels to address the needs of older persons, and to support the Decade of Healthy Ageing, a broader inter-agency initiative led by WHO. 

 

Speakers

Moderator Raj Kumar, Founding President and Editor-in-Chief, DEVEX

Setting the scene

●      Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO

●      Dr Natalia Kanem, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UNFPA

 

Voices from countries and communities

●      Arun Maira, Chair of the Board, HelpAge International

●      Dr Alex Kalache, President of International Longevity Centre, Brazil 

●      Ms Christine Umutoni, Resident Coordinator Mauritius and Seychelles 

●      Dr Naeema Al Gasseer, Senior Advisor to World Health Organization Regional Director at Eastern Mediterranean Region

●      Dr Octavio Vergara, Director of the National Services for Elderly, Government of Chile

 

Commitments for collective action

●      Ms Laila Baker, Regional Director, Arab States, Development Coordination Office

●      Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Older Persons

●      Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO

●      Dr Natalia Kanem, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UNFPA