Participants of the Special event on “Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment” (on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons), UN Headquarters’, Oct. 2015. UN Photo/Kim Haughton
“Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions.”
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) turns 70 this year and the International Day for Older Persons celebrates the importance of this Declaration, and reaffirms the commitment to promoting the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons.
Older human rights champions today were born around the time of the adoption of the UDHR in 1948. They are as diverse as the society in which they live: from older people advocating for human rights at the grass root and community level to high profile figures on the international stage. Each and every one demands equal respect and acknowledgement for their dedication and commitment to contributing to a world free from fear and free from want.
The 2018 theme aims to:
- Promote the rights enshrined in the Declaration and what it means in the daily lives of older persons;
- Raise the visibility of older people as participating members of society committed to improving the enjoyment of human rights in many areas of life and not just those that affect them immediately;
- Reflect on progress and challenges in ensuring full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons; and
- Engage broad audiences across the world and mobilize people for human rights at all stages of life.
A Prayer for all Ages
God of all creation, you are timeless and beyond all ages.
We who are growing old give thanks for the years you have given us –
for family, friends and all those who have enriched our lives.
We who are not yet old give thanks for the older people in our lives:
for grandparents, loved ones, friends and all who generously offer
the wise counsel of their years.
We who are growing old pray that we may be patient with our ageing limbs
and difficulties in everyday tasks we once did much more easily.
We who are not yet old pray for patience and kindness
towards those who do not move as quickly as we would sometimes like.
We who are growing old pray for good health in our later years,
and forbearance when our health fails us.
We who are not yet old pray for good health for those we love
and compassion towards those who suffer ill health.
We who are growing old pray for prudence and sweet timing, in offering our wisdom to the next generation, while respecting their energy and creativity.
We who are not yet old pray for openness and humility in receiving
the advice and guidance of our elders.
We who are growing old pray that we may face our death with serenity and dignity.
We who are not yet old pray that we affirm the sacredness of each person’s life
and accompany those who are dying with gentleness and deep respect.
God of endless love, help us to understand that we share a common life journey,
a call to live life to the full and to strive to enable all creation to come
to the fullness of the Cosmic Christ. Amen