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E- GROUP FOR PACIFIC TO SHARE INFORMATION ON AGEING
Plans are underway to develop an e-Group that will enable information sharing among Fiji and its Pacific Island neighbors, says the permanent secretary for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Mr Govind Sami.
He said the move is one of the major recommendations ensuing from HelpAge Network Asia/Pacific Regional Conference held last month in Myanmar.
A total of 28 international and regional countries had discussions on the theme “Rapid Ageing: A Caring Future and Forum on Voice of Older Persons.”
Mr Sami said e-Group would be an ideal platform for information sharing among actors on ageing.
“Having an e-Group means that countries will be able to share their views, plans and strategies to address ageing trend and this will strengthen pacific island network to develop a multi-sectoral approach at regional level, placing ageing as an important agenda for Pacific Island Forum,” Mr Sami said.
The conference also provided opportunities for Asia Pacific representatives to discuss the challenges and way forward in terms of addressing the needs of elderly.
“The meeting has taken the bottom up approach whereby we get to hear the voices of the elderly and then take the decision on actions to be taken.”
Some of the other emerging issues discussed at the conference were the need for social protection for elderly, health care plans and labour composition, where elderly will dominate the labour market.
“The conference heard that by 2030, we will have more older people than children in the world and it calls for policies to ensure the implications of ageing trend are addressed. For example, more elderly population calls for specialized health care facilities. It is also important for Governments to ensure that issues on elderly needs are captured into the social and economic plans,” Mr Sami said.
He said Fiji is the only country in the Pacific Region to have an Ageing Policy, which has a clear objective of cultivating an inclusive and supportive environment for elderly.
“Fiji will be able to provide a good response on its progress at the International Plan for Action on Ageing (MIPAA) meeting next year,” Mr Sami added.
Mr Sami was accompanied by the Executive Director Fiji Council of Social Services Mr Hassan Khan to this meeting in Yangon, Myanmar from 7th to 11th May, 2012.
The Madrid International Plan for Action on Ageing (MIPAA) is a comprehensive action plan for governments, civil society and others for building a society for all ages adopted by the UN General Assembly at the Second World Assembly on Ageing in Madrid in 2002.
Permanent Secretary for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Mr Govind Sami at the HelpAge Network AsiaPacific Regional Conferen on Rapid Ageing held last month in Myanmar, Yangon