Skip to main content

UNECE Policy Seminar on Ageing

UNECE Policy Seminar on Ageing

18 November 2020
Palais des Nations Geneva Switzerland


Older persons in emergency situations: lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the increased vulnerability of older persons in emergency situations, and uncovered shortcomings in disaster preparedness and response strategies to the pandemic globally. The Policy Seminar provided an opportunity for members of the Standing Working Group on Ageing and other stakeholders to reflect on the first lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic in UNECE region as regards upholding the dignity and human rights of older persons in emergency situations. In particular, discussions focused on access to essential goods and health and long-term care services, sensitivity to specific needs and preferences, and ensuring that mental well-being and dignity of older persons are safeguarded.

Target Group   

The policy seminar was designed for national focal points on ageing, members of the Standing Working Group on Ageing, as well as experts on long-term care systems and services, civil society representatives and other stakeholders in the UNECE region. Around 130 delegates from 41 countries participated in the seminar.


The Policy seminar took place on 18 November 2020 in the form of a webinar consisting of two sessions (morning, afternoon) each of 2.5 hours. English-Russian interpretation during the policy webinar was provided by the UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.


Concept Note and Programme (EN - RU)

Policy Brief on Ageing No 25 "Older Persons in Emergency Situations"

Click icon/link to open/download      
Report PDF    
Opening session
Adelina Comas-Herrera
London School of Economics, Care Policy and Evaluation Centre
Session 1 - Ageism and COVID-19 in the UNECE Region
Silvia Perel Levin,
NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva
Ruud Dirkse
Bureau for Healthcare-innovation, Netherlands
Erika Winkler
Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, Austria
Session 2 - COVID-19 and older persons in residential care facilities
Giovanni Lamura
INRCA - Centre for Social and Economic Research on Ageing, Italy
Natasa Todorovic
Red Cross of Serbia
Pia Pulkkinen
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
Jennifer Zelmer
Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement
Session 3 - Reaching out to older persons in need of care at home or in the community
Assiya Akanova
Centre for Active Ageing in Almaty, Kazakhstan
Sean Moynihan
NGO Alone, Ireland
Aliona Cretu
Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection, Republic of Moldova
Yossi Heyman
JDC Eshel, Israel
Bios of Speakers PDF