Dr. Marie-Madeleine Bernard
host and moderator of Le Salon PACE 2000.
|Dr. Louise Plouffe||Liane Meunier|
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Dr Alexandre Sidorenko,
United Nations, New York,
Coordinator of the International Year of Older Persons, IYOP
Talking points for the Videoconferencing presentation on June 23, 1999
Good morning to Canada... Good afternoon to France... Greetings from the UN programme on aging.
It is the Secretariat for IYOP.
Why is the UN here?
What does the UN have to do with aging? UN is about peace and disarmament, preventing and dealing with conflicts. Why aging? Because aging has become one of the greatest challenges of human civilization as it reaches its next millennium. A few demographic facts:
Demographically, it is going to be an entirely "new"
world; a completely different world economically, culturally,
politically, and spiritually. A new world .For old age, a new
world for all ages. A society for all ages as it is called for
by the theme of IYOP.
Are we ready for such a World? What is the UN doing to prepare
for the new society?
UN addressed the issue of aging at the third year of their existence in 1948.
UN actions on aging culminated in 1982 in convening the World Assembly on Aging. International Plan of Action on Aging.
Another important date: 1992. UN General Assembly decided to observe the year 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons, IYOP. The General Assembly Made its decision in recognition of humanity's demographic coming of age and the promise it holds for maturing attitudes and capabilities in social, economic, cultural and spiritual undertakings, not least for global peace in the next century.
General Assembly identified the Year's theme: towards a society for all ages. General Assembly also decided that the Year's objective would be the promotion of the UN Principles for Older Persons.
Four dimensions have been identified to explore the Year's theme and develop a strategy for the future society for all ages. These dimensions are:
Activities and projects of the PACE 2000 International Foundation fall within at least two of these dimensions, i.e. the situation of older persons and multi-generational relationships. Today's video-conference is just another wonderful example. Congratulations to the organizers. We are proud to participate in today's event recognizing that it is within the mainstream of the observances of the International Year of Older Persons, IYOP
Indeed, multi-generational projects appear to be the most popular
ones during the 1999 celebrations. Let me give you a few examples:
one from one from France and one more from Africa.
In preparing for the today's event, I have been consulting my colleagues from the UN Secretariat on what should be the main message of my presentation. Describe UN documents related to the Year? -- Well, the language is perhaps boring. Review global activities for the Year? -- The time will be short. Then someone suggested: tell the bear story. Nice idea, I thought. Here is the story.
It is a simple story. And its lesson is obvious: we have to fight the stereotypes that have been shaping our lives and our relationships in order to embrace change. It relates to each of us and to the society at large. And this is the major task of IYOP. We have to change our view of aging and older persons. And what can be a better way to do it than with intergenerational dialogue. That is, what brought us together today.
Christmas in a Virtual Global Village
A première: PACE 2000 International Foundation organised for December 24, 1998, a Cross-Atlantic Intergenerational Puppet show: "Très, Très Fort" simultaneously at 11:00 a.m. in Ottawa, and 17h in Paris, France. After the Puppet show, participants from both continents were offered the opportunity to interact via Videoconferencing. In particular, seniors living at Centre d'accueil Champlain, Vanier, enjoyed face to face conversations about the puppet show and with the children living at Centre Thérapeutique de Margency, near Paris, France.
Dec. 20, 2002 count = 655
Apr, 18,2004 count = 5471
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©1999 PACE 2000 International Fondation