Civil Society Oral Statement

Call for action on main elements of a new convention on the human rights of older persons

We welcome this opportunity to address the main elements of a new multi-lateral instrument. We consider that the adoption of a new convention would provide impetus for and tangible results in promoting the realisation of the human rights of older persons, and that it would complement the contribution of existing instruments and bodies in this area.

We believe there has been a significant shift at this seventh session of the Working Group. We firmly believe that the drafting of a convention should not be delayed and to further progress towards this end, we support the call from a number of Member States at this session to move to a more substantive exploration of the possible elements of a new convention.

The thematic discussions and concrete proposals for elements submitted by Member States and civil society over the Working Group’s seven sessions, along with other sources including the Independent Expert’s comprehensive report (A/HRC/33/44), regional and other instruments, provide the basis for this discussion on the possible main elements of a convention.

Given the complexity of ageism, discrimination and human rights in older age, it is our view that we will only be able to debate and understand the complexity, interdependence and indivisibility of the rights that should be in a new convention through the direct discussion of concrete suggestions of the elements of a new convention.

We believe that the most effective way to do this is through the presentation of a proposal of possible elements to the Working Group for discussion at its eighth session in 2017. 

We therefore call on the Chair and Member States of the Working Group:
– to develop a proposal of the elements of a convention in the inter-sessional period for presentation and discussion at the eighth Working Group session in 2017.
to adopt a procedure for that work which reflects the inclusive approach adopted during the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in particular by ensuring the full participation in that process of representative organizations of older persons, of national human rights institutions and of other sectors of civil society, in addition to all Member States.