Humanitarian Action for Older Persons: Fifteen Years After The Madrid Plan

"Humanitarian Action for Older Persons: Fifteen Years After The Madrid Plan" 

Side Event of the 56th Session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development

February 7, 2018 from 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm

United Nations Secretariat Building, Conference Room 7

The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, adopted at the Second World Assembly on Ageing in 2002, emphasizes the importance of caring for older persons affected by emergencies who carry specific vulnerabilities. The Madrid Plan urges humanitarian actors to not only incorporate the needs of older persons into humanitarian programming and guidelines, but also to actively ensure their fundamental rights to equal access to food, shelter, and health care.

Fifteen years on and the world is experiencing unprecedented levels of forced migration and displacement due to humanitarian disasters. One of the more seriously affected groups in times of crises are older persons, those aged 60 years and over, as well as those who rely on their care. The protection of older persons affected by crises underscored in the Madrid Plan is crucial to offering dignified humanitarian assistance to communities.

This event will discuss the challenges and best practices for caring for older persons in the humanitarian response infrastructure. By drawing on the experiences of humanitarian practitioners, policy experts, and refugees, the event will delve into various aspects of humanitarian planning and response by bringing in the latest experience, data and contributions of older refugees and displaced persons in the context of current crises.

Agenda

Welcome and Introductions:

  • Ann Pawliczko, PhD, Research Fellow, Institute for International Humanitarian Affairs, Fordham University
  • H.E. Ambassador Rubén Hasbún, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of El Salvador
    to the United Nations, on behalf of the Group of Friends of Older Persons

Moderator:

  • Rosemary Lane, Focal Point on Ageing, Division for Social Policy and Development, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Speakers:

  • H.E. Ambassador Toshiya Hoshino, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations: Experiences and Lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 and Other Natural Disasters

  • Andrew Painter, Senior Policy Advisor (Human Rights/Protection), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: Addressing the Needs of Older Displaced Persons

  • Sandra Vines, Director for Resettlement, International Rescue Committee: The Needs of Elderly Refugees in the Resettlement Process

  • Sylvia Beales, Consultant on Ageing and ‘Inclusive Social Development’:  Overview of Current Frameworks to Ensure Inclusion

Concluding Remarks: Rene Desiderio, PhD, Research Fellow, Institute for International Humanitarian Affairs, Fordham University

Convened by the Center for International Health and Cooperation and the Institute for International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham University in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, the Group of Friends of Older Persons (GoFOP), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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