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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|Wednesday, April 03, 2002
||Contact: AoA Press Office
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced today that the department’s Assistant Secretary for Aging Josefina G. Carbonell is preparing to lead the U.S. delegation to the Second World Assembly on Ageing in Madrid, Spain, April 8-12.
During the assembly, member states of the United Nations will
gather to discuss and finalize the International Plan of Action
on Ageing, a revision of the 1982 International Plan of Action
developed by the First World Assembly on Ageing. The plan will
serve as a blueprint for governments worldwide in addressing critical
issues facing rapid global population aging, including health,
development, migration, environment and intergenerational concerns.
HHS’ Administration on Aging (AoA) is the lead U.S. coordinator
for the development of the International Plan of Action on Ageing.
"The needs of the aging global community are never more
apparent than they are today," Secretary Thompson said. "There
are more than 600 million older persons around the globe. As a
country, we must work with our many international partners to
make sure that older persons in the U.S. and around the world
are treated with respect, dignity and compassion now through the
last years of life."
According to the United Nations, the number of persons age 60
and older will reach 629 million this year, and is projected to
grow to almost 2 billion by the year 2050 – outnumbering
the population of children under 14 for the first time in human
history. Every month, nearly 1 million people turn 60 and more
than 80 percent live in developing countries. Furthermore, persons
80 years of age and older are the fastest growing segment of the
elderly population worldwide.
"There is an urgent need to develop sound, measurable policies
that can be applied to the world’s aging population,"
Carbonell said. "The AoA will continue to lead departmental
efforts in the global response to aging, and will spearhead domestic
initiatives to further support America’s 35 million elderly."
The AoA budget request for fiscal year 2003 is $1.3 billion,
which includes funding for the National Family Caregiver Support
Program, home and community support services, Senior Medicare
patrols, training and research projects, and funding for AoA’s
Meals on Wheels Nutrition Program -- 30 years old in March 2002,
having served 6 billion meals to senior Americans since the program’s
creation in 1972.
The assembly will come on the heels of the Valencia Forum, a
global scientific gerontology meeting currently being held in
Valencia, Spain. At the forum, researchers from the National Institutes
of Health’s National Institute on Aging, as well as academicians,
scientists and clinicians, are highlighting recommendations published
by the National Academy of Sciences on cross-national research
Rounding out the U.S. delegation will be members of Congress
and representatives from academia, nongovernmental organizations,
and the private sector.