Statement by Dr. Satoshi Ezoe, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, at the 10th Working Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing Side Event “Building collaboration for a UN Decade of Healthy Ageing led by WHO”

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Thank you,

          First of all, allow me to express my appreciation to the panelists and participants who have enriched our discussions on the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing. I believe that today’s discussions and exchange of ideas proved that the agenda of ageing is indeed a global one.
          At the 2016 World Health Assembly, Japan facilitated the adoption of the WHO’s Global Strategy and Action Plan on ageing and health (2016-2020). In this resolution, Member States requested the WHO to prepare for the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030). I myself was involved in this resolution from the Capital, so it is my honor to be part of the discussion today.
          Coming from a country with the world’s highest percentage of older people, where almost one third of the population is aged 60 years or older, we are particularly grateful that the agenda of healthy ageing is increasingly discussed in the national, regional and global context, such as at this event today. Japan has been committed to sharing our experiences through bilateral and multilateral avenues including at the UN, WHO, OECD, G7 and G20.
          Currently, as Japan tackles comprehensive social security reform towards 2040, our priorities are to further promote healthy life expectancy through approaches to improve health literacy as well as to ensure life-long participation in society. This also requires synergy with labour policy to meet the diverse employment needs of older persons.

          This year, as G20 presidency, we intend to take up the agenda of ageing as an integral part of sustainable and inclusive global health. We wish to deepen the discussions around how we can promote healthy ageing and address dementia, while ensuring sustainable financing. Also, from the angle of labour and employment policy, we intend to discuss the issue of prolonged and multi-stage employment models to adapt to ageing societies.
          We trust these discussions will inform other processes including the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage, the High-Level Political Forum, Financing for Development Forum in September and the Decade of Healthy Ageing.
          In conclusion, we firmly believe that the Decade of Healthy Ageing will be a prime opportunity to guide and galvanize a multi-stakeholder response to global ageing. We look forward to continuing to work together with all of you towards and through the Decade of Healthy Ageing, so that we can “ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages” as we promised to achieve through the Sustainable Development Goals.
I thank you.