| 2008 | 2007
| 2006 | 2005
| 2004 | 2003
| 2002 | 2001
| 2000 - 1992
Commission for Social
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
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
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
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
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
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
In October 2009, GAA organized an evening party for its
friends and donors to celebrate the UN and introduce the
new fall intern team.
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.
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
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
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
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 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
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.
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
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.
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
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
Signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities, March
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Attracting over eight million hits during 2004, the
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
UN'S SECOND WORLD ASSEMBLY ON AGEING
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"
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.
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.
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,
Held seven training seminars for retiree groups, both
trade unionists and religious organizations that
examined critical emerging issues facing older persons
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
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.
Organized a major meeting on public pensions
and health care with the International Labor
Organization for the NGO Committee on Aging.
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.
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.
Held six training seminars for older people's
groups, from trade union, retiree and religious
organizations, devoted to critical emerging issues
facing older persons.
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
Built our website by adding 550 new pages. Site
traffic increased dramatically to a rate of one
million hits per year!
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."
2000 - 1992
Key planner of the NGO Forum at the UN's World
Assembly on Ageing, held in Madrid, Spain in
Host of the www.globalaging.org
website that attracted about 150,000 hits during
Organizer of the UN Working Group on Social Protection,
including NGO's from women, labor, aging and the
Organized the the National Satellite
Teleconference on "A Society for All Ages," that
reached 135 downlink sites in 37 US states.
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
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
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.
Global Action on Aging organized a Special Panel
about Threats to the Economic Security of Older
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,
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.
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
Copyright © 2002 Global Action on Aging
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