STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. FABIAN GARCIA, FIRST SECRETARY, PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE EIGHTH SESSION OF THE STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. FABIAN GARCIA, FIRST SECRETARY, PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE EIGHTH SESSION OF THE OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON AGEING (New York, 5 July 2017)
Mister Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. Allow me to express our warm congratulations for your election as Chair of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, and to the members of the Bureau for your efforts to prepare what we foresee to be a very productive and successful session.
The Group of 77 and China recognizes the essential contribution that older persons make to the development of our societies. When adequate guarantees are in place, older persons are empowered as agents and beneficiaries of change, and offer an undeniable support to collective development programs and projects, including the implementation of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.
Despite national and regional efforts towards the effective protection and promotion of the human rights of older persons, the Group remains deeply concerned by the multiple forms of discrimination that still affect older persons, their dignity, the enjoyment of their rights and fundamental freedoms, and their participation in social, economic, cultural, civil and political life.
We need to continue developing and implementing policies, and reviewing and amending practices that affect older persons. It remains an imperative to provide this important section of our population, which is projected to grow by 56 per cent and reach 1.4 billion by 2030, with social protection, proper nutrition, training and education, adequate housing and public spaces, employment, and access to justice. We need to guarantee health care services to older persons, as well as essential, safe, affordable, effective and quality medicines, and programmes that ensure the promotion of active ageing.
Most of all, the Group encourages all Member States to make all necessary efforts to eradicate poverty among older persons, in particular older women and those in vulnerable situations.
The Group of 77 and China believes that sustainable and inclusive social and economic policies for older persons can be achieved through our shared efforts. The international community must work together to ensure the well-being of older persons, while addressing issues related to their social integration, and fostering intergenerational partnerships and solidarity.
The Group welcomes recent regional developments towards the effective protection and promotion of the human rights of older persons. We congratulate the Latin-American and Caribbean countries for convening the fourth Regional Intergovernmental Conference on Ageing and the Rights of Older Persons that recently took place in Asuncion, Paraguay, within the framework of the third cycle of the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing.
In closing, Mister Chair, we call upon the Secretary-General to continue supporting the Open-ended Working Group, including by providing all necessary conference and interpretation services, to ensure substantive and fruitful sessions.
The Group of 77 and China reiterates its firm support to the Open-ended Working Group, and emphasizes the need to contribute to its work to enable it to fulfill its existing mandate, including by considering the feasibility of further international instruments and measures, to strengthen the protection of the human rights of older persons.