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Launching of the New NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity (CONGO) - "Human Rights and Intergenerational Solidarity”

Intervention by the Permanent Representative of the Argentine Republic, Amb. Martín García Moritán

October 4


Excellencies, distinguished colleagues, dear friends,

It is an honor to have been invited to deliver these remarks in my capacity as Chair of the Open –ended Working Group on Ageing. I would like to start by thanking the NGO on Intergenerational Solidarity (COIGENS) and especially its Chair, Dr. Rosa Resnick, for organizing this event, which serves as an important platform to engage in a substantive and meaningful debate about the situation of the human rights of older persons and to raise awareness of the importance that the promotion and strengthening of solidarity between generations in different types of families, communities and nations has in achieving a society for all ages and equality for all.

I am sure that this debate will be very fruitful and will trigger off key issues and ideas from which to move forward in the face of the crucial challenge of rethinking and redefining the way we see, conceive and address ageing. In this regard, fostering intergenerational solidarity will lead to a switch in the cultural paradigm that considers older people less productive, less valuable to society and a burden to the economy and to younger generations, towards a more progressive, human-rights based approach, which sees older persons as active agents of change.

 Today, I would like to reflect upon the relationship between the importance of achieving intergenerational solidarity, which will contribute to raising awareness of the significant role of older people as active contributors to sustainable social and economic development, and the full realization of their human rights.

According to the World Population Prospects 2019 published last June by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), between 2019 and by 2030, the number of persons aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 38 per cent, from 1 billion to 1.4 billion, globally outnumbering youth. Addressing this global issue now will not only guarantee the protection of the human rights of all older persons but it will also pave the way for States to be better prepared to face the future challenge of an ever faster growing ageing population.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document, which underpins all international human rights law and inspires us to continue to work to ensure all people can gain freedom, equality and dignity. However, the existing framework of international human rights law does not recognize age as a cause of forbidden discrimination, which constitutes a clear deficiency in the current system, and contributes to make many serious violations of the human rights of older persons invisible.

Likewise, even though the general principle of the international legal framework related to the right to equality and non-discrimination is included in most of States´ national laws, in almost all cases there aren ́t specific references to the rights of older persons and to discrimination on the basis of age.

However, active and healthy ageing is a reality in the XXI century. Older persons everywhere are embracing life, as they age, in a clearly active and positive way. We need to be aware that a complete new narrative about the role of older persons is in the making— one that acknowledges their true and valuable potential.

In this regard, the importance of intergenerational solidarity as a way forward towards the full realization of the human rights of older people lies in the fact that when generations have a positive view of one another, they support mutual beneficial exchanges, which will lead to consensus between generations on the way forward. Societies will, in turn, claim for equality and further protection in order to promote and achieve the full enjoyment of the human rights of all.

It is worth highlighting the significant role that the different types of families and the government play when it comes to the promotion of mutual cooperation and interchanges between the generations, which leads to renewing social structures and cultural values as well as reshaping the legal frameworks to enhance the full protection of the human rights of society as a whole.

In this respect, it is undeniable the essential role that older persons play in vulnerable families, single-parent´s families, or in the case of children without parental care, where they are looked after by their grandparents. Therefore, as the younger generations benefit from the older ones, being raised by them, exchanging experiences and sharing each other´s knowledge, it is also of utmost importance for society to strengthen the protection of the human rights of these most vulnerable older generations who actively contribute to society and the well-being of their children.

The maximum pledge of the 2030 Agenda of "Leaving no one behind" calls us for action to scale up our efforts so that the full exercise of the rights of all older people is not only respected but also effectively guaranteed by the States.


Distinguished colleagues,

In our Working Group we are proud to have been recognized as the most prominent international forum specifically devoted to the rights of older persons. The OEWGA has acted as a platform from which the wide and active participation of all the relevant stakeholders has given visibility to the need for promoting, protecting and strengthening the human rights of older persons and has helped reflecting upon innovative courses of action that will best meet their current and future needs.

I would also like to emphasize the relevant role played by civil society organizations, which have always been key actors in identifying  areas where the human rights of the elderly need to be strengthened, pointing out the gaps in existing international framework and suggesting  how best to address them.

To conclude, I would like to end by renewing Argentina’s firm commitment towards advancing the issues related to ageing in the United Nations and to advocate for the inclusion, meaningful participation and full enjoyment of their human rights by older persons. I look forward to listening to the presentations of our distinguished speakers and I’m sure that we will have a very interesting discussion on the issues of ageing. Once again, I thank you all for being here and I wish us a very rich and successful session.

Thank you.



Fondo argentino de cooperación sur-sur y triangular