The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Enabling interventions and environments supportive of all older persons are essential to promote independence and empower older persons with disabilities to participate fully in all aspects of society. The ageing of persons with cognitive disabilities is a factor that should be considered in planning and decision-making processes.

Objective 1: Maintenance of maximum functional capacity throughout the life course and promotion of the full participation of older persons with disabilities.

Actions: (a) Ensure that the agendas of national policy and programme coordination agencies dealing with disabilities include attention to issues concerning older persons with disabilities; (b) Develop, as appropriate, gender and age-sensitive national and local policies, legislation, plans and programmes for the treatment and prevention of disabilities, taking health, environmental and social factors into account;

(c) Provide physical and mental rehabilitation services for older persons with disabilities; (d) Develop community-based programmes to provide education on causes of disabilities and information on how to prevent or manage them throughout the life course; (e) Create age-friendly standards and environments to help prevent the onset or worsening of disabilities;

(f) Encourage the development of housing options for older persons with disabilities that reduce barriers to and encourage independence and, where possible, make public spaces, transportation and other services, as well as commercial premises and services used by the general public accessible to them;

(g) Encourage the provision of rehabilitation and appropriate care and assistive technologies for older persons with disabilities to fulfil their need for services, support and full integration into society; (h) Promote, in accordance with applicable international law, including international agreements acceded to, the accessibility for all, without discrimination, including the most vulnerable sectors of the population, to pharmaceuticals or medical technologies, as well as their affordability for all, including disadvantaged groups;

(i) Encourage and facilitate the establishment of self-help organizations of older persons with disabilities and their caregivers; (j) Encourage employer receptivity to older persons with disabilities who remain productive and capable of paid or volunteer work.

The promotion of an enabling environment for social development was one of the central goals agreed at the World Summit for Social Development. It was renewed and strengthened at the twenty-fourth special session of the general assembly on social development.

The commitment included essential framework conditions such as: participatory, transparent and accountable political systems, as well as good governance at the national and international levels, as established in the Millennium Declaration; recognition of the universal indivisible interdependent and interrelated nature of all human rights; increased external assistance to developing countries through official development assistance and debt relief; recognition of the important interaction between environmental, economic and social policies; improved access for developing countries and countries with economies in transition to the markets of the developed countries; and reduction of the negative impact of international financial turbulence, realization of these and other aspects of an enabling environment and the economic growth and social development to which they contribute will make possible the achievement of the goals and policies agreed upon in the present International Plan of Action.

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