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Healthy ageing & sustainability


The United Nations in a number of different forums and initiatives has highlighted sustainability in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Implementing the Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health will contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development 17 Goals that were developed to secure “The Future We Want” for present and future generations.

Their view is that today, most people are living longer and a significant proportion of the world’s population are older people. By 2050, the world’s population of people over the age of 60 will double. This demographic change has strong implications for sustainable development. As people grow older, their health outcomes, needs and what they value can change. Supporting these changes by taking multisector action on ageing and health is therefore critical and will support the Decade on Healthy Ageing 2020 – 2030 united nations decade of healthy ageing - Search (bing.com).

What is Healthy Ageing?

The United Nations view is that ageing healthily is what we all aspire to. As an approach Healthy Ageing is about maintaining the functional ability that allows you to do the things you value.

This means preserving both your physical and mental capacity as you age - it also means making changes to our environments (housing, transportation, public spaces etc.) so that they are accessible to and supportive of older people with varying needs and capacities.

The organisation maintains that action to foster Healthy Ageing can help tackle inequities and ensure older people age safely in a place that is right for them, are free from poverty, can continue to develop personally and can contribute to their communities while retaining autonomy and health. Healthy Ageing will help build societies that are cohesive, peaceful, just, secure and sustainable.


A commitment to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals means a commitment to Healthy Ageing - and a commitment to taking concerted actions to formulate evidence-based policies across all sectors that strengthen the abilities of older persons. In collaboration with Member States and international and national partners World Health Organisation (WHO) needs to lead coordinated global action to foster Healthy Ageing across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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Published: December 2022

To be reviewed: January 2025