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2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 - 1992


HIGHLIGHTS 2009



UNITED NATIONS

Commission for Social Development

On February 13, 2009, GAA partnered with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) to host a UN Roundtable on “How Do We Protect Pensions and Social Services for the Aging in the Midst of Economic Crisis?” The panelists discussed some challenges now facing retired people, aging workers and the older poor people and what is needed to craft a human-rights based response to the needs of an aging society. Speakers included representatives from the International Trade Union Confederation, the International Commission for Labor Rights and a Professor of Economics from New School University in New York.

Following the UN Roundtable, GAA and FES organized a reception to affirm the rights of older persons to social protection. Guests included UN staff, diplomats from all 5 continents and NGO’s representatives who focus on aging.

During the Commission, GAA attended two breakfast meetings organized by the Permanent Mission of Argentina to discuss why a UN Convention or Treaty to guarantee older persons’ human rights is needed.

Commission on the Status of Women

During the Commission on the Status of Women, GAA met and assisted Ferdous Begum, CEDAW Expert advocating for a General Recommendation on older women. We also attended side events on caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS.

Expert Group Meeting

From May 5 to 7, 2009, Susanne Paul, GAA President attended a UN Expert Group Meeting in Bonn Germany on the “Rights of Older Persons.” The UN’s Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) invited Susanne and over a dozen other experts to participate in sessions exploring the state of older persons’ rights. The Group shared good national practices to protect older people’s rights, tools that would build capacity in governments and organizations to assure human rights, as well as ideas about how to guarantee rights of older people through UN institutions. The experts debated whether a Human Rights Convention or a Special Rapporteur could better insure older people’s rights. Susanne also served as a co-rapporteur.

International Day of Older Persons

Over the summer of 2009, GAA played a strategic role planning the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) at the United Nations and in inviting Nora Berra, France’s Secretary of State for Older Persons. On October 8, 2009, Global Action on Aging’s team participated in the IDOP which focused on “Aging Activism: A Global Tool to Create a Society for All Ages.”

In the afternoon, Susanne Paul, GAA President, chaired a workshop focused on human rights of older persons. Participants included Nora Berra, French Minister for Older Persons; Javier Vasquez, Human Rights Law Advisor for the Pan American Health Organization; Maria Luz Melon, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations, and Alexandre Kalache, Global Ambassador, HelpAge International. Participants made the case for a Convention (or Treaty) to guarantee older persons’ rights.

NGO COMMITTEE ON AGING

Throughout 2009, GAA acted as the Secretary and Co-chair of the SubCommittee to Promote a Human Rights Convention on Aging (CTP). Each month, CTP members met with Susanne Paul, GAA President, and Norma Levitt, Co-chair, to build a movement of NGOs toward a UN Convention or other Human Rights instrument.

To raise awareness of other Committee on Aging members, the CTP organized in November a workshop entitled “Why we need a UN Convention and a Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Older Persons.” In this workshop, Susanne Paul, GAA President and Magali Girod, GAA Program Coordinator moderated, discussions on the following questions: What is a human right? What is a Convention? Why is a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons needed? What are the documents that support a claim to human rights of older persons? What is the process for a Human Rights Convention?

PROJECTS AND EVENTS

Throughout 2009, GAA organized eight seminar sessions for CWA 1180 trade union retirees from New York City. This year, GAA focused on “social inclusion of older persons.” This activity gives our international interns an opportunity to interact with older persons of diverse origins and backgrounds.

In January 2009, Susanne Paul, GAA President, attended and participated in an International Symposium on the Rights of Older People organized by HelpAge International, the International Federation on Ageing and Age Concern. She spoke about the recent developments at the UN toward a Human Rights instrument for older persons.

In June 2009, Magali GAA Program Coordinator spoke at the annual meeting of the Manhattan Borough Wide InterAgency Council on Aging. She shared an international perspective toward a Human Rights Convention for Older Persons.

In July, GAA monitored the CEDAW sessions and interviewed Ferdous Begum about the General Recommendation on older women.

On October 5 and 6, 2009, Susanne Paul, GAA President, was invited to join government experts and NGOs from Latin America to discuss the possibility of a regional convention for older persons. Susanne Paul described the world-wide NGO aging movement and gave special attention to the NY NGO Committee in Ageing’s Subcommittee to Promote a Human Rights Convention. She shared the Subcommittee’s aim to educate its constituencies about the history of human rights activism as well as offered basic education around what a convention could accomplish.

In October 2009, GAA organized an evening party for its friends and donors to celebrate the UN and introduce the new fall intern team.

INTERNSHIPS

In 2009, GAA hosted interns from China, France, Ecuador, Russia, Egypt, India, Cape Verde, Bulgaria, Palestine, Canada, Peru and the US. During 2009, interns researched and posted over forty articles per week in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. The interns participated in multiple networking lunches with UN staff, diplomats and NGOs.

WEBSITE

Over the summer, GAA launched its new web section dedicated to a new Human Rights instrument for older persons. This section tracks down Member States’ opinions on the issue and demonstrates why such a document is very important for older persons. In 2009, GAA’s website gathered nearly 14 million hits from over 160 countries. 


HIGHLIGHTS 2008

UNITED NATIONS 

Commission for Social Development 

On February 6, 2008, GAA organized a UN Roundtable on “What we can Learn from the Disability Campaign for Human Rights,” examining how the Disability NGO groups succeeded in a Human Rights Convention. Speakers included representatives from the Government of Mexico; the International Disability Caucus represented by Maria Veronica Reina; the German-based disability organization, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation; and GAA. 

On February 7, 2008, GAA, in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Help Age International, organized a reception to celebrate the 2nd Review of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. The guests included UN staff, diplomats from all 5 continents and NGOs focusing on aging. 

During the Commission for Social Development 2008, GAA organized a breakfast gathering with aging advocates (HAI, IFA, INPEA, IAGG, AARP and GAA) to lay out the steps towards a human rights convention on aging. 
Commission on the Status of Women

On March 6, 2008, the NGO Committee on Aging, Subcommittee on Older Women partnered with GAA to organize a panel discussion on older women and global pensions with Professor Robin Blackburn as a key note speaker. 

Expert Group Meeting

On May 19, 20 and 21, 2008, GAA Program Coordinator, Magali Girod, attended the UN Expert Group Meeting on intergenerational issues to insure that the voices of older persons were heard in the discussions. 

International Day of Older Persons

On October 2, 2008, GAA addressed the closing session of the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP). Susanne Paul and Bridget Sleap summarized the day and suggested a number of beginning steps toward a human rights convention (or treaty) on aging. 

NGO COMMITTEE ON AGING

On November 6, 2008, GAA addressed the NGO Committee on Aging on possible ways to secure a human rights convention on aging. Susanne Paul intervened along with the Head of the UN Programme on Aging. 

On December 4, 2008, Florence Denmark, Chair of the NY NGO Committee on Ageing named Susanne Paul, GAA President, as Co-Chair of the Sub-Committee to Promote a human rights convention on aging. 

PROJECTS AND EVENTS

Throughout 2008, GAA organized six seminar sessions for trade union retirees from New York City. This year, GAA focused on “the human rights of older persons.” The seminar series concluded the retirees writing and adopting their own human rights Convention (or Treaty) on aging. 

On April 22, 2008, GAA invited Professor Robin Blackburn, New School faculty, to talk about global pensions guaranteeing every old person $1 per day. 

For the first time, GAA partnered with Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority with a fundraising brunch inviting KKG members from New York City to discover the UN and its work on Aging. Anke Green, UN staff from Germany, described her work and involvement at the UN. 

On May 27, 2008 GAA invited Jean Hoffmann, a long-time poetry writer, to share her poems with our friends and donors. This cultural event united young and old life.

In July 2008, Ferdous Begum, continued her campaign to include older women as a category for review under the terms of the Human Rights Convention to Eliminate all Forms of Discrimination against Women. Begum was elected to the CEDAW Committee this year and began her campaign to canvas CEDAW signatories to report on discrimination against older women. She expects a vote affirming this action in 2010.

On September 16 and 17, Susanne Paul, GAA President attended the Follow up Meeting on the December 2007 Brasilia Declaration in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Susanne described what NGOs can do to move towards a human rights Convention on Aging. At the end of the meeting, the group agreed to push forward on a Convention (or treaty). 

On October 25, GAA Program Coordinator, Magali Girod presented the work of GAA to the United Methodist Women’s Annual Conference in Dix Hills, NY. 

On November 13, 2008, GAA organized a Fall Party for its local donors and friends. 

INTERNSHIPS

GAA hosted interns from China, France, Russia, Germany, Lebanon, the United Kingdom, Singapore, India and the US. During 2008 interns research and post over forty articles per week in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. Also, GAA coordinated the efforts of older volunteers who did research, language assistance, technical help and evaluated our website. 

WEBSITE

In 2008, GAA redesigned its Aging Watch Section to make it more user friendly. GAA’s website gathered nearly 15 million hits from over 158 countries. 

HIGHLIGHTS 2007

UNITED NATIONS
Organized the “UN Roundtable on Disappearing Pensions in Rich Countries” that examined the effects on older persons when public and private employers reduce or abandon pension programs. Speakers included representatives from UN Member States, trade unions, think tanks and academia. GAA also participated in side events on the 5 year follow-up on the Madrid Plan of Action on Aging. 
UN Commission for Social Development, February

PROJECTS 
Organized a meeting with the German Parliamentary State Secretary, the German Commissioner for Disability and aging and disability organizations. The meeting aimed at mobilizing support among aging and disability groups to press for ratification of the UN Convention on for Persons with Disabilities. Co-organized a high-level luncheon, “The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities-Creating Momentum for Implementation.” 
Signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, March

MEDIA
Published major ‘big issue’ article in 2007 Social Watch Report examining how the UN’s Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing lays the basis for social protection in poor countries. Susanne Paul and Alischa Kugel produced the article. 

INTERNSHIPS
Hosted interns from Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Kyrgyzstan and the US. Interns research and post over fifty articles per week in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. Also, GAA coordinated the efforts of older volunteers who did research, language assistance, technical help and evaluated our website. 

WEBSITE
Re-designed the Arabic language section to make it more user friendly. GAA’s website averages 1.3 million hits per month and attracts readers from 145 countries.

HIGHLIGHTS 2006

UNITED NATIONS
Organized the “UN Roundtable on Older Persons in the 2004 Tsunami” that examined how relief agencies responded to the needs of older persons in Tsunami-affected countries. Government delegates, high level officials from UNICEF, OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Activities), the UN Asia Pacific Regional Commission, HelpAge International and a local Sri Lankan non-governmental organization analyzed the disaster. Panelists gave concrete suggestions for improving rescue and recovery efforts of older persons. They also provided insights on how to advance these ideas within the UN. UN Commission for Social Development, February

PROJECTS 
Led efforts to secure data disaggregation by age and sex in UN social statistics. Such data will reveal how social policies affect older women and men. Also, GAA documented how social pensions are improving the lives of older persons in many parts of the world. UN Statistical Commission, March

MEDIA
The New York State United Teachers’ newspaper interviewed GAA about threats to public pensions (January). InterPress Service reported on the “UN Roundtable” (February) and a United Methodist News Service story described GAA’s activities in support of social pensions in poor countries (March) and GAA’s website and UN work (June). GAA gave background interviews to Radio Free Europe on pensions in Turkmenistan (February), to the Dubuque, Iowa Telegraph on US retirement programs (June), and the Cleveland Plain Dealer on global pensions (July). 

INTERNSHIPS
Hosted interns from Belarus, Bolivia, China, France, Japan, Morocco, Dominican Republic and the US. Interns research and post over fifty articles per week in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. Also, GAA coordinated the efforts of older volunteers who did research, language assistance, technical help and evaluated our website. 

WEBSITE
Re-designed the GAA website to allow “quick access” to documents. Created new sections devoted to social pensions, data disaggregation and the impact of the 2004 Tsunami on older persons. GAA’s website averages 1.1 million hits per month. 

 

HIGHLIGHTS 2005

STATEMENTS
Presented Statement on human rights of Elderly Indigenous Persons during the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues held at the United Nations in May. Cooperated with HelpAge International by offering comments on needs of older persons at the Africa Commission meeting in June. 

UNITED NATIONS
Organized a Side Event Panel on Mainstreaming Older Persons into the Development Agenda during the UN Commission on Social Development in February. UN Secretariat staff, government representatives and NGO leaders participated. Resourced the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP's) with a Checklist for Older Persons in IDP camps. 

BRIEFINGS
Provided research to the Expert Panel of the Commission for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on the material situation of older women in developed, developing and transitional economies. Suggested questions to pose to Country Representatives during 2005 sessions about older women's poverty. 

SEMINARS
Held two training seminars for trade union retirees. Speakers described European social insurance programs, advocacy strategies around threatened privatization of US Social Security and the United Nations and its aging programs. 

INTERNSHIPS
Hosted 16 resident interns from Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Moldova, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA. In addition, 6 "virtual" interns from Argentina, China, Egypt, Haiti, Taiwan, Ukraine and the USA resourced the website. Interns research and post over forty articles per week in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. Also, GAA coordinated the efforts of seven older volunteers who did research, development, language assistance, technical help, and evaluated our website. 

WEBSITE
In March, GAA launched its new web-section "Aging Watch at the United Nations." The site offers information on how the UN system develops, considers and implements aging work. In April, GAA's website (www.globalaging.org) for the first time attracted over one million hits in one month and repeated this success in three other month. Adding Arabic to its language sections in May, GAA now posts articles in all six official UN languages attracting more readers from non-English speaking countries. 


HIGHLIGHTS 2004

STATEMENT
Presented a Statement on "Protection of Older Persons in Armed Conflict in the Least Developed Countries" to the High Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council substantive session of 2004. The UN Secretariat invited GAA to develop this paper due to its work on older persons and armed conflict. 

UNITED NATIONS
Organized a large panel on "Older Persons and Armed Conflict" during the February Commission on Social Development in partnership with Help Age International. In May, GAA hosted a "speak out" on armed conflict and older indigenous persons during the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. 

MEDIA INTERVIEWS
Gave media interviews on emerging issues in aging. Topics included age discrimination on the job, specialized retirement communities as well as specific issues facing racial/ethnic/language minorities and same sex couples. Spoke several times on New York metro area radio shows about funding retirement.

SEMINARS
Held ten training seminars for older people's groups from trade union, academic and religious organizations. They heard speakers discuss European social pensions, Japanese technology to help frail elderly, US Social Security, and more. 

INTERNSHIPS
Hosted eight resident interns from France, Georgia, Jamaica, Japan, Ukraine, Venezuela and the US. Also hosted "virtual" interns from Azerbaijan, China and the USA. Interns researched and posted over fifty articles per week in English, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish. 

WEBSITE
Attracting over eight million hits during 2004, the website (www.globalaging.org) continues to grow with an increasing proportion of readers from non-English speaking countries. With articles in five languages, GAA has added Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Russian Federation to its top 20 countries visiting our site each week.

HIGHLIGHTS 2003


STATEMENTS
Prepared a research paper on "Protection of Civilians: Older Persons in Armed Conflict" for the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. GAA, along with its partners, will press for a UN Security Council Resolution in 2004 to Protect Older Persons.

UNITED NATIONS
The UN Economic and Social Council approved Global Action on Aging for "special consultative status," giving GAA the right to speak to the Council during sessions. Our organization also participates in the NGO Committee on Ageing at the UN.

MEDIA INTERVIEWS
Gave media interviews on Social Security and Women to MORE Magazine (Oct. 14), on Poverty among Older Americans to Dutch RTL television (Nov. 17), on Older Persons who want paid work to UM Communications (Oct. 27), on older ethnic persons seeking retirement facilities to the Arizona Republic (Nov. 11) and on elder rights to a television documentary producer (Oct. 2).

SEMINARS
Held six training seminars for older people's groups from trade unions, retiree and religious organizations, devoted to critical emerging issues facing older persons, including income support, health access, elder rights, and protection of older persons in situations of armed conflict.

INTERNSHIPS
Hosted eight resident interns from Azerbaijan, Brazil, China, France, Ukraine, and USA to research and post over 60 articles weekly to our website. Interns monitor major UN meetings, confer with Secretariat staff and present our work in public arenas.

WEBSITE
Attracting eight million hits this year, the website (www.globalaging.org) doubled its 2002 level. France, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Netherlands, and Germany are the top countries using the website outside the US. Tripling its subscribers over 2002, our weekly email newsletter went out to over 45 countries and reached UN staff, diplomats, professionals in the aging field and many older persons.

HIGHLIGHTS 2002

UN'S SECOND WORLD ASSEMBLY ON AGEING 
AND 
NGO FORUM ON AGEING

April 4-12, 2002, in Madrid, Spain


Organized two large NGO Forum sessions on "New Approaches to Old Poverty," and "Social Initiatives of Older Women in Developing Countries." Assisted partner organizations with panels on volunteerism, spiritual dimensions of aging, housing of abandoned elderly, art and the elderly, and an NGO "lessons learned" session. 

Partners included: Older Women's League, Gray Panthers, Burden Center on Aging, Peace Action, World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women, United Methodist Church (USA), Franciscans International, Negro Business and Professional Women, LINKS, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, the Ladies Charitable Society, and the Loretto Community.

IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAM
Began developing educational resources, using UN and website information, for community and organization Seminars on the International Plan of Action. Materials will guide activists to implement the Plan of Action at the local level. 

MEDIA INTERVIEWS
BBC News interviewed Susanne Paul for a global wrap-up of pension program financing for a five-part series. October 24 Bloomberg News interviewed GAA for its views on private pensions, including 401(k) plans, following the Enron and Tyco scandals, June 11 UN NewsWire quoted GAA on aging in developing countries, April 6

SEMINARS
Held seven training seminars for retiree groups, both trade unionists and religious organizations that examined critical emerging issues facing older persons

INTERNSHIPS
Hosted ten resident and one off-site intern from Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, United States, and Uzbekistan who pursued internet research and posted articles on the Global Action website.

WEBSITE
Increased from 35,000 hits per week in January to over 110,000 hits in early December. Top ten countries visiting the site are the United States, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Spain, Belgium, Japan, Brazil and Argentina. 

HIGHLIGHTS 2001

PUBLIC MEETINGS
Organized a major meeting on public pensions and health care with the International Labor Organization for the NGO Committee on Aging.

MONITORING
Listened for inclusion of older women as victims of gender discrimination in country reports presented to the UN's Commission on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Unfortunately, we found that no country addressed such discrimination --even though Global Action on Aging tracks such abuses worldwide. 

STATEMENTS
Prepared a document on older women's human rights worldwide. Wrote a statement on "Older Women and Poverty Eradication" that the NGO Committee on the Status of Women will use in its work at the United Nations.

SEMINARS
Held six training seminars for older people's groups, from trade union, retiree and religious organizations, devoted to critical emerging issues facing older persons. 

INTERNSHIPS
Hosted twelve resident and two off-site interns from Armenia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Hong Kong, Japan, USA and Venezuela to research and post articles on our website. 

WEBSITE
Built our website by adding 550 new pages. Site traffic increased dramatically to a rate of one million hits per year!

EVENTS
Welcomed fifty participants from a dozen countries who joined us on the International Day of Older Persons to hear Dr. Odile Frank of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and Ambassador Bagher Asadi, Chairman of the Group of 77 to discuss "Prospects for the World Assembly on Ageing."  



HIGHLIGHTS 2000 - 1992


2000
Key planner of the NGO Forum at the UN's World Assembly on Ageing, held in Madrid, Spain in 2002.  
Host of the www.globalaging.org website that attracted about 150,000 hits during 2000. 

1999
Organizer of the UN Working Group on Social Protection, including NGO's from women, labor, aging and the foundation community.
Organized the the National Satellite Teleconference on "A Society for All Ages," that reached 135 downlink sites in 37 US states. 

1997-1998
Initiated the Official Preparatory Event for the UN's International Year of Older Persons, Nashville, Texas. Produced the Declaration of Older Women's Rights, drawn up by 120 women from 65 different organizations from every continent. Three years later, many public and civic organizations across the globe adopted the Declaration, available in five major languages. 
Convener of the Annual Global Older Women's Roundtable for delegates and NGO's from developing countries during the UN's Commission on the Status of Women. 

1996
Created and moderated the Global Older Women's Network via an electronic newsletter to about 650 aging advocacy leaders in every region of the world.

1995
Global Action on Aging organized a Special Panel about Threats to the Economic Security of Older Persons for delegates at the 1995 Wold Summit on Social Development, in Copenhagen, Denamark. Global Action on Aging's President Susanne Paul also addressed the Plenary Session of the UN Conference on Social Development in Copenhagen, Denmark.

1994
Global Action on Aging's President Susanne Paul spoke to the Plenary Sessions of the UN Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt. 
Global Action on Aging's book, Humanity Comes of Age, 1994, sold 40,000 copies in four printings.
 
1992
Global Action on Aging's President Susanne Paul addressed the UN General Assembly on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the 1982 World Plan of Action on Aging.  

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