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11th Session of UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing

Today saw the start of the 11th session of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, which will take place until 1 April 2021. In addition to a high panel on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older persons, this year's session will focus on the “Right to Work and Access to the Labour Market” and “Access to Justice”.

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Chair of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing Stanislav Raščan | Author Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve

Slovenia, which is also a member of the Bureau of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, is represented at the session by State Secretary Stanislav Raščan, who gave a national statement in the framework of the general discussion. In his statement, he welcomed the recently published Green Paper on Ageing, which is the Commission's response to the issues of ageing and the rights of older persons and is linked to the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing. The State Secretary also mentioned Claudia Mahler, the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons. He particularly praised the valuable contribution Ms Mahler has made with her recent report where she pointed out the shortcomings of the current international legal framework and the need for its consolidation.

The major part of the session will be dedicated to the high panel, which will be held in the format of interactive expert discussion on COVID-19 and the impact of the pandemic on older persons. Participants will review measures to enhance, promote, and safeguard the human rights and dignity of older persons, exchange good practices and experience, and discuss gaps and ways to close them, which includes the possibility of new instruments and measures in this area.

The high panel will be followed by discussions on the right to work and access to the labour market as well as on access to justice.

Slovenia will continue advocating the need for the adoption of an international legal instrument that would address the existing gaps and provide comprehensive regulation of the protection and exercise of rights of older persons. Slovenia is redoubling its efforts aimed at seeking a wider consensus within the international community on this issue. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded the international community of the need for comprehensive regulation of this area.