Efforts must increase to support the needs of older people, especially in
developing countries, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a conference in
"People around the world are living longer, healthier lives, thanks to advances
in health and well-being," he said in a video message to the opening on Sunday
of the 20th World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, which creates
challenges by "putting pressure on institutions such as healthcare and pension
By 2050, 80 percent of the world's older people will live in developing
countries and the over-60 population will be larger than the under-15
population, statistics from the U.N. Population Fund indicated.
An aging population also means more experienced workers and more keepers of
culture and heritage, Ban said.
In his message, Ban called for full implementation of the Madrid International
Plan of Action on Aging that focused on three priority areas: older persons and
development; advancing health and well-being into old age; and ensuring enabling
and supportive environments.
The World Congress is held every four years by the International Association of
Gerontology and Geriatrics and the International Congress Organizing Committee.