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United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) 2023

United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) 2023

“Climate change induced disasters: Older persons’ preparedness and response to build forward better”

28 September 2023 15:30 - 17:00

Participation in the event will be in person (Room VIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva) and a possibility to connect via Webex will be provided.

Please register for IN-PERSON participation by clicking on "Register now" button.

Please register for ONLINE participation HERE.


The intersection of ageing populations and escalating climate change demands immediate, concerted action. Climate disasters hit everyone, but older persons, especially women in poverty with health conditions or disabilities, and those in vulnerable coastal regions, are hardest hit. Despite their vulnerability, they are often excluded from climate plans.

As per A/HRC/47/46, climate change significantly affects older persons' rights to life, health, food, water, sanitation, housing, work, culture, and development. Concrete actions and consultation are crucial. Effective policies and strategies are needed to address climate challenges for older persons. Climate action is a collective responsibility spanning local, national, and international institutions. Collaborative efforts are therefore essential.

Amplifying the voices of older persons, with their invaluable lifelong experience, is crucial in climate activism. Intergenerational partnerships can drive successful environmental actions.

The event, which is jointly organized by the NGO Committee on Ageing and the UNECE Population Unit and sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Portugal and Slovenia, aims to champion rights, protection, and access to human rights for older persons in climate-induced disasters. Furthermore, the event emphasizes inclusive, rights-based approaches and aims to foster a shared commitment to safeguarding the fundamental rights of older persons amidst climate challenges. This aligns with the United Nations Human Rights 75 Initiative, aiming to advance its promise of freedom, equity, and justice for all.

Concept note


  • Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons (video message)
  • Toleafoa Nella Pepe Tavita Levy, Permanent Representative / Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Samoa to the UN and Other International Organisations in Geneva
  • Javeria Afzal, Climate Change Advisor, HelpAge International
  • Katie E. Cherry, Professor of Psychology, Emogene Pliner Distinguished Professor of Aging Studies, Louisiana State University 
  • Ricardo Pla Cordero, Protection Officer – Ageing and Disability Inclusion, Division of International Protection / Community Based Protection Unit, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
  • Noga Levy-Rapoport, Youth Climate Activist
  • Moderator: Ina Voelker, German National Association of Senior Citizens' Organizations (BAGSO)
Speakers' biographies

Further sponsors of the event are: BAGSO, Gray Panthers, Greycells, International Federation on Ageing (IFA), International Longevity Centre Canada (ILC-Canada), International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA), Soroptimist International, The Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP), World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), World Psychiatric Association (WPA).