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Your guide to UN and UN documents and reports

Ageing and older persons

The rapid growth of the world's ageing population requires strategies to ensure that this issue is adequately addressed by the regular programmes of United Nations organizations and bodies.

Two international conferences on ageing

The first World Assembly on Aging (A/RES/36/30) in Vienna in 1982 adopted the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing.

The second World Assembly on Ageing was held in Madrid on the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Assembly. The resulting document, the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing 2002 calls for changes in attitudes towards and policies concerning the enormous implications of ageing.

Important resolution and plan of action

In 1991 the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Person (A/RES/50/141). They address older persons:

  • independence
  • participation
  • care
  • self-fulfillment
  • dignity

In 1995, at the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen a Programme of Action was adopted based on the promotion and protection of all human rights in society and the participation of all people, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and persons.

Ageing in the UN calender

Since 1998, October 1st, the International Day of Older Persons is recognized every year (A/RES/45/106).

In 1999 the United Nations International Year of Older Persons (A/RES/50/141).

Since 2012 the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) happens each year on June 15th.

More on UN and ageing

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library. UN official documents and open access publications, UN maps, UN voting data and speeches.
  • UN iLibrary. UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS. UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • UNBIS Thesaurus is a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions


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