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Conference News: Ageing, Development and Social Protection, Report of the UNRISD International Conference, Madrid, Spain

14 Aug 2003



This event was the Institute’s contribution to the United Nations Second World Assembly on Ageing.

“Older people do not live in isolation, and so their welfare is intimately bound with that of society as a whole. Policy needs to recognize both difference and interdependence,” stated Peter Lloyd-Sherlock of the University of East Anglia and co-ordinator of the event, in his opening address to the conference. Cynthia Hewitt de Alcántara, the Institute’s Deputy Director, chaired the event.

The Conference gathered 14 leading international experts in the field of ageing and development who presented papers commissioned by UNRISD on the situation in a wide range of different countries, including: the United Kingdom; Mexico; Thailand; Brazil; Chile; Singapore; South Africa; Ukraine; Japan; China; Argentina; the United States of America and India.

The report of the conference stresses that “accelerated population ageing is a global trend. It has long been a significant issue for developed countries, and it is now becoming one for many developing areas.” It also warns that if the needs of older people in developing countries are not addressed, population ageing may simply constitute an extension of privation and misery, rather than an enrichment of lifetime opportunities.

The conference was inaugurated with a general introduction on Ageing, Development and Social Protection: A Research Agenda. It focused on three main themes: Development Trajectories, Social Change and Well-Being in Later Life; Formal Social Protection and Older People; and Older People and the Care Economy.