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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Southampton Professor presents active ageing index at the United Nations

Published: 16 August 2013Origin: Gerontology
Professor Zaidi at the UN

University of Southampton Professor Asghar Zaidi has spoken at United Nations Headquarters in New York as part of a European Delegation event focusing on ‘Mobilising the potential of older persons to create societies for all ages’.

Zaidi, Professor of International Policy, joined a panel of experts to highlight the importance of empowerment, engagement and activation of older people as a response to ageing societies.

Speaking to a large number of representatives of policymaking and civil society communities from developed and developing countries, Professor Zaidi provided a description of the active ageing index he has lead in the context of the 2012 European Year of Active Ageing. His presentation emphasised that evidence gathering statistical indices would serve as an improved connectivity in the global world.

"Using statistical evidence on the active ageing experiences of older people across EU Member States and the United States, I highlighted what policy lessons can be learned from such international comparisons of outcomes of social policy differences," said Professor Zaidi.

"My UN presentation also linked with the post-2015 development framework of the United Nations which calls for a 'data revolution', a new international drive to improve the quality of statistics available to people, governments and civil society,” he continued. “The compilation of statistical evidence in the form of indices, such as the EU’s active ageing index and Global AgeWatch Index of HelpAge International, will be essential in monitoring the new global development framework and also holding governments accountable."

To showcase the contribution that older people make to society and to challenge the too often negative stereotypes of older people, 2012 was celebrated as the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. This European campaign motivated many stakeholders to take action and show that ageing is a challenge, but that its social consequences can be successfully addressed by working together.

Joining Professor Zaidi at the UN were fellow speakers Ioannis Vrailas, Ambassador, Chargé d'Affaires, a. i. , European Union Delegation the United Nations; Kasia Jurczak, Policy Analyst, Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission; Nena Georgantzi, Legal and Research Officer, AGE Platform Europe; and Jean Francois Courtois, Senior Policy Analyst, H.R.S.D. Canada.

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