Growing ageing population presents new challenges, says ILO official

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Alejandro Bonilla García, Director of the ILO's Social Protection Department.

A senior official of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on Monday called for action to address the challenges presented by the growing ageing population around the world.

Alejandro Bonilla García, Director of the ILO's Social Protection Department, spoke at a meeting of the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing.

He said more people are living longer and staying active later in life than ever before because of improvements in public health, nutrition and advancement in modern medicine.

"This demographic shift, however, presents formidable and fundamentally new challenges, particularly the implication it has for labour markets and social protection systems. But these challenges are not insurmountable. By tapping into the same innovation and human genius that has allowed us to live longer, we can also use to make sure we live better. Together, we must begin to address population ageing using a more integrated and long-term perspective." (26")

Mr. Bonilla García said such perspective must be rooted in dialogue between all the relevant stakeholders:  states, citizens, businesses and civil society.

He warned that if not properly addressed, the consequences of these changing dynamics are likely to take unprepared countries by surprise.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’29″

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