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International Day of Older Persons - 1 October

Tenth Anniversary of International Day of Older Persons - 1 October 2000

World wide celebrations to mark the tenth anniversary of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons will begin this week. Older people in New Zealand will be leading the way as participants in the Global Embrace – a chain of celebrations and walks in countries around the world over a 24 hour period that will encircle the globe.

The Global Embrace was conceived to mark 1999 as the UN International Year of Older Persons and to celebrate active ageing. Its success means it has now become an annual event to coincide with the International Day of Older Persons on 1 October each year.

"Active ageing means making the most of opportunities for mental, physical and social well-being throughout life to improve health and well being in older age", says Margaret Guthrie, National President of Age Concern New Zealand.

"We all are ageing and should celebrate this natural process. The walks and other activities organised by Age Concern Councils around the country are a chance to promote the benefits of both physical and social activity", Margaret Guthrie says.

"This year is also the tenth anniversary of International Day of Older Persons. In declaring the first International Day of Older Persons in 1990, the United Nations General Assembly recognised that older people are an asset to society and contribute significantly to their communities. An international day gives nations around the world a common frame of reference for the protection and promotion of the rights of older people", says Margaret Guthrie.

"To ensure that people maintain the highest level of physical, social and mental well being as they age, health promotion and prevention of disease must go hand in hand with policies that ensure adequacy of income and equality of social, educational and employment opportunities. This in turn will ensure that older people can continue to make vital and positive contributions to their families, communities, and to society", Margaret Guthrie says.

"Above all, International Day of Older Persons is a chance for older people to get together with others to have fun and to share enjoyable activity for good health," Margaret Guthrie says.

If you would like to take part in an event contact your local Age Concern Council, listed in the white pages of your telephone book, for details of an event near you.

ENDS

For further information please contact: Dr Margaret Guthrie, National President (hm) 0-4-233 9016 or Claire Austin, Chief Executive (wk) 0-4-471 2709, (mobile) 025 243 6991

For details of activities for International Day of Older Persons and the global embrace in New Zealand see: www.ageconcern.org.nz/idop.htm A list of local events and international and local contact details follows.

Age Concern is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation working to promote the well-being and quality of life of older people in New Zealand, since 1948. http://www.ageconcern.org.nz

___________________________

Background Information for Media

For more information on the World Health Organisation's Global Movement for Active Ageing and the Global Event

WHO Media Contact:

Chris Powell 00 41-22-791-2888 Or email: powell@who.int

WHO Active Ageing website: Background information and details of events and activities happening around the globe for International Day for Older Persons can be viewed at: www.who.int/ageing/global_movement

An interactive website of messages from around the globe will also be set up for 1 and 2 October 2000. This can be accessed via the above site. Messages can be posted by email to activeageing@who.ch or by fax to 00 41 22 791 41 86.

Video News Footage The WHO have video footage of active ageing events. See www.who.int/multimedia/ Or contact Chris Powell on 00 41-22-791-2888 e-mail: powell@who.int

Audio files Audio files and text of Radio Interviews are also available to download from the internet. See www.who.int/multimedia

New Zealand website For details of activities for International Day of Older Persons and the global embrace in New Zealand see: www.ageconcern.org.nz/idop.htm


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