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Sarajevo, 1 October 2010 – First of October is marked worldwide as an International day for elderly in which we show respect to the elderly persons. The General Assembly designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons in 1990 with the aim of highlighting the importance of care for elderly and creating an environment that can be adapted to the needs and abilities of the third age population.

According to data of the Agency for the Statistics BiH, persons over 65 years of age constitute 15.5% of the total population of Bosnia and Herzegovina. By comparison, persons between 6 and 17 years of age in our country constitute 16.2% of the total population. Almost equal percentages indicate the fact that the process of demographic ageing progressed. It is anticipated that by 2050, the first time in the history of mankind, the number of elderly will exceed the number of young people.

At the second world conference in Madrid, in April 2002, Madrid International action plan of ageing (MIPAA) was adopted and represent ageing population as a “Hugh potential” with emphasizing the rights of elderly people as well as calls on the governments to include the rights of elderly and their needs in the national and international economic and social development policies. MIPAA also calling for change in attitudes, policies and practices in order to use enormous potential of the elderly population and ageing process.

On the occasion of marking the day of the elderly, UNFPA office in BiH together with Parliamentarian group for population and development of Bosnia and Herzegovina is planning to organize round table “Together toward better life of elderly in BiH“ on 11th of October at Hotel Vucko, Jahorina.

„We need to additionaly harmonize the existing laws and policies as well as to involve all relevant factors in BiH for the establishment of the quality mechanism of cooperation of government and non government sector to ensure that in unique and comprehensive way, without politicizing, are brought high quality solutions in this area as well as to ensure dignity and security to the current older population in BiH,” said dr. Milorad Živkovic chairman of the Parliamentarian Group for the Population and Development of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“The European path of Bosnia and Herzegovina also involves fulfillment of the needs of elderly as well as implementation of the international agreements, such as Madrid international plan of ageing and therefore it is necessary, as soon as possible, to start and develop strategy on improving the status of elderly in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, added Mr. Faris Hadrovic, UNFPA BiH Assistant Representative.