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Celebrate the International day of Older Persons with a dance

UNECE will celebrate the International Day of Older Persons, on 1 October, with a performance by “Magic Movers”, a dance group of Lincolnshire-native senior ladies who have found in their dancing steps a way of expressing their vitality and joy for life. Aged between 60 and 94 years, the British seniors bring with their “magic moves” a message that goes beyond rock and roll. Their goal is to inspire people to enjoy life at any stage through dance. In their own words: “dancing, you can feel the joy of life pulsing through your veins!”. Jacky Simpson, who formed the group in 2004, proposes dance as a complement to medicine for good health, because it contributes to physical, emotional, mental and social health.

The event will take place at 12:30 p.m at the Palais des Nations, in Hall XIV, behind the Assembly Hall. The group will perform some favourites from their repertoire, with music ranging from Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé to Robbie Williams and Ronan Keating. They will invite the audience to join them on the dance floor.

This show will only be one of the many global efforts to remind people about the importance of older persons to society. Every year, in the context of the International Day for Older Persons, the United Nations proposes a theme to encourage dialogue and discussions that promote active ageing and solidarity between generations. The theme for this 24th edition is “Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All”, calling for inclusiveness and awareness of population ageing dynamics.

In the UNECE region, the number of people aged 65 years and above amounts to 186 million or close to 15 per cent of the region’s total population. By 2030 their share is expected to exceed 268 million or 20 per cent. To guarantee inclusive, sustainable development it is important to consider age-sensitive policies and the needs of older generations. The UNECE Population Unit assists member States to adjust their policy framework to the new demographic realities.

Also on 1 October, starting at 10:00 a.m. in Room XII, the NGO Committee on Ageing in Geneva, a network of UN-accredited NGOs working on ageing, is organising the panel “Leave No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All. Realizing the Rights and Well-being of Older Persons” with prominent speakers including Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, the Human Rights Council’s Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons. Other speakers will include Isabel Ortiz, Director of the Social Protection Department at ILO and Silvia Stefanoni, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy Strategy at HelpAge International. Complimentary sandwiches and drinks will be offered by the Geneva International Network (GINA).

For further information and if you need help accessing the Palais des Nations, please contact ageing@unece.org