Message from President Danny Faure on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons, 1 October 2018 “Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions”
01 October 2018 | State House
Every year, we celebrate the International Day of Older Persons on the 1st of October. This is a special day for Seychelles. It is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements, contributions, and presence of older persons in our families, communities, and society.
On the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this year’s UN theme ‘Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions’ invites us to reflect on the progress and challenges in ensuring full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental liberties by older persons. It reminds us that every human being, no matter what their age, should be participating members of society fully able to live and enjoy the rights that have been enshrined internationally and nationally in our Constitution.
This year’s event is being celebrated against a changing demographic context. There are presently around 700 million people over the age of 60 in the world. It is predicted that by 2050, this figure will rise to 2 billion. In Seychelles, the number of people over 60 years of age represents around 16% of our total population. By 2050, this figure is expected to increase to around 25% of our population – there will be more people over 60 years of age in Seychelles than children under 14.
As a result, Government is taking a proactive approach to the issue and had adopted a new National Policy on Ageing. This will ensure the full social integration of older persons in the continued development of Seychelles. Government has also introduced new legislation for the National Council for the Elderly and its Board to ensure that the interests of older persons are being promoted and protected. We recognise the need to provide the platforms and opportunities for the older persons to take part in decision-making at all levels of society.
Our elderly represent a dynamic sector of our population; embodying the values of resilience, wisdom and experience. I invite the private sector to recognise the contributions of older persons and continue to provide facilities that complement government services in taking care of our older persons. It is essential to develop and maintain a high standard of care and service for them.
Growing older does not diminish a person’s inherent dignity and fundamental rights. It is our responsibility to ensure that older persons continue to enjoy their human rights, and that social change does not affect the ability of our older persons to enjoy these rights.
We must always guarantee their dignity and quality of life.
I would like to appeal to all families on this occasion to continue to support our older family members. Let us continue to take care of each other, especially those who have cared for us and have contributed so much to our success.
On this International Day of Older Persons, I would like to wish all older persons in Seychelles a happy and blessed day. May you all continue to enjoy good health, prosperity, and joy in life.