|Statement by Counsellor YAO Shaojun of the Chinese Delegation at the General Discussion at the Eighth Working Session of the GA Open-ended Working Group on Ageing|
The Chinese delegation congratulates you on your election as chairman of the Working Group. We are confident that under your leadership, this session will achieve positive results. In view of the acceleration of aging of the world population, the international community needs to adopt integrated measures to fully leverage the positive role of older persons in advancing social development. China supports the statement made by Ecuador on behalf of G77, and wishes to make the following observations:
First, favorable conditions should be created for the participation of older persons in social development. Governments should guide the society to have a proper understanding of the role of older persons and to actively accept and vigorously support their participation in social development. Policies and regulations in such areas as old age care, medical service and lifelong learning for older persons should be formulated and improved, and help the elderly maintain a healthy mindset and a positive attitude.
Secondly, active support should be provided to older persons in employment, entrepreneurship, and volunteering. Governments should incorporate the development and utilization of the skills of older persons into their overall planning for human capacity building. Older persons should be supported in gaining access to practical skill training, delaying retirement or creating their own business, and doing volunteer work, so that they can continue to make contributions to society in their remaining years. In their work, the legitimate rights and interests of older persons related to income, safety and security, and heath should be guaranteed by law.
Thirdly, the unique advantage of older persons in enhancing social harmony should be fully tapped. Countries should see to it that older persons bring the exemplary influence of their virtuous behavior to bear on their families and the society as a whole. The experience and prestige of older persons can be fully leveraged to ease social friction, maintain social stability, and enhance social harmony.
Fourthly, international cooperation on aging should be strengthened in a tangible way. The international community must effectively implement the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, pay attention to the special difficulties of developing countries with an aging population, and provide more financial and technical assistance to the countries concerned. In view of the major differences among countries over the development of a new international legal instrument, we need to take a step-by-step approach and engage in extensive consultations.
China is among the countries with a high degree of aging population. We have the largest elderly population, the highest rate of aging population and the most arduous task in responding to aging. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the work related to aging, and works hard to respond to this issue in a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable manner. In February this year, the Chinese government promulgated and put into implementation the “13th Five-year National Plan on the Development of Undertakings for the Elderly and Establishing the Elderly Care System”. Under this plan, we will accelerate the improvement of our elderly-care service system, health support system and the market for older consumers, further enrich the spiritual and cultural life of older persons and expand their participation in social development. We will strive to guarantee older persons access to elderly care, medical service, learning and mentoring opportunities, a productive life and recreation so that they can remain active and enjoy life.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.