By David Njagi
It will take the wisdom of the sunset generation to win the UN’s promise for a growth leap in a post 2015 scenario, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said.
But the process must blend the views of the youth too, when governments meet at the UN summit later this year to agree on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said Tutu in an Action of All Ages Statement.
“As we get older our rights do not change,” said the 84-year-old Archbishop, in a video released today. “We are no less human and should not become invisible.” http://bit.ly/1HfzM1x
In September 2015, the UN General Assembly will host its 193 member states to agree on the new set of 17 goals and 164 targets, also recognized as the SDGs. According to Tutu, the older generation must be included in tackling the important issues of poverty, inequality, environment and climate change.
“I want to tell the world that I count, that older people everywhere count and that people of all ages should be included in the SDGs,” he said as part of HelpAge International global Action All Ages campaign.
Presently, there are more than 895 million women and men aged 60 and over, representing 12 per cent of the global population.
By 2030, this figure is projected to rise to 1.3 billion, or 16 per cent, while the proportion of people aged 15 to 24 years will be 15 per cent.
“Today’s young people will therefore form part of the largest group of older people in history,” said Tutu. “No future development goals can be considered legitimate or sustainable unless
people of all ages are included.”
May is the month when the global campaign, action/2015 peaks, to highlight the importance of all ages in the SDGs, which will inform the global growth pathway for the next 15 years.
It features 14 Global Action Days, organized on themes of ageing, child health, faith, climate change, gender equality, hunger and nutrition.
It will be graced by activities such as marches, concerts, flash mobs, workshops and debates, and will take place in 10 countries around the world.
Singer-songwriter, actress and entertainer, Avril and fellow older musicians from Kenya have developed a campaign song, Hoja Zetu which will be shown at one of the event in Kenya. http://bit.ly/1JtHZ2m
“I want to grow old knowing that I will be listened to just as much as anyone else at any age,” said Avril, best known for the singles, Mama, Kitu Kimoja and Hakuna Yule.
Age Demands Action campaigner in Kenya, Mama Rhoda Ngima, will also be taking part in the activities.
“Just because I am old does not mean I am not passionate about my rights,” said the 70-year-old. “I want this year to be the year I am heard, the year I am recognised and the year I am counted.”
In South America, the Mongolian Women’s Fund, MONES, is planning a WALTZ DAY for older women and young people, with the aim of inspiring and mobilising communities and the public to act together for all ages.
In Zimbabwe, an intergenerational panel will be organised to review the success and failures of the Millennium Development Goals and come up with recommendations for the post 2015 agenda focusing on ageing.
In Malawi, older and younger people are organising an intergenerational public debate, to share about what they hope to see in the SDGs.