Global City Leaders reverse the Ageing trend

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Dublin’s Lord Mayor Andrew Montague today welcomes colleague Mayors and Civic Leaders from some 24 cities around the Globe to Dublin. This unique gathering of City Leaders, which takes place at the Mansion House, Dawson St at 1.15pm today 28th September, has come to Dublin at the invitation of the Lord Mayor to sign the Dublin Declaration. Cities such as New York, Oakland (California), Mexico  and La Plata (Argentina) joined with European Cities like Manchester, Edinburgh, Ljubljana, Lyon and Udine(Italy) and with Asian Cities such as Seoul, Akita(Japan), Chia-Yi(Taiwan) in signing up to a new Global Network of Age Friendly Cities cemented together through the Dublin Declaration. The Declaration will be signed by the participating cities and some 8 Irish Counties in Dublin’s City Hall at 7.45pm today.

The Dublin Declaration commits cities and counties to be more age friendly. The signing of the Declaration happens during a three-day International Conference in Dublin on Age Friendly Cities. Organised by the World Health Organisation and the Global Age Friendly City Network the conference will help cities develop an action plan to address barriers to health, participation, and well being of older people in their cities.

The Dublin Declaration is modelled on the Barcelona Declaration adopted by European Cities in 1995. This Declaration set the disability rights agenda across Europe. It is intended that the Dublin Declaration will do the same for older citizens. The Lord Mayor stressed that “One reality we will all face is the reality of growing older. Every one of us has friends and family who are experiencing the joys, and the challenges of growing older. A society that forgets to respect and cherish the aging is a society that loses its humanity.”

“In practical terms” observed Peter Finnegan Director of International Relations with City Council, “Dublin has developed unique initiatives to support older people in society. These include the Passport for Leisure Programme, the Accessdublin business initiative, the Walk and Talk events, the Your Dublin-Your Voice Opinion Panel and the Community ICT initiatives with Dublin Institute of Technology.” The Declaration firms up Dublin’s commitment to being a more Open and Age Friendly City.

The Global reach of this initiative led the Lord Mayor to encourage participating cities to reach out to other cities globally. “This challenge is also the challenge of global sustainability and equity“ stated the Lord Mayor, “and we as rich and privileged cities must help other cities adopt the age friendly agenda also.”   The Lord Mayor stressed the role that science and technology can play in making improving the life, participation opportunities and well being of older people.