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Mission

Global Action on Aging (GAA), based in New York at the United Nations, reports on older people's needs and potential within the global economy. It advocates by, with and for older persons worldwide. 

Basic Facts

Global Action on Aging (GAA), a non-profit organization with special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, was founded in 1994.

GAA carries out research on critical emerging topics and publishes the results on its website. GAA staff and interns research aging policy and programs, both in the US and worldwide: income support, health access, and human rights. Interns post their research daily to our website, www.globalaging.org, one of the largest in the aging field. GAA posts materials in all six UN official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. It monitors United Nation activity on aging through the "Aging Watch at the UN" web-section and documents the situation of older persons caught in armed conflict. 


Staff

President: 
Susanne S. Paul, formerly chaired the Non-Governmental Organizations on Ageing Committee at the UN. Author of many publications including a book titled, Humanity Comes of Age, she writes and speaks widely about challenges to older persons world-wide.

Program Coordinator: 
Duygu Başaran, started working for Global Action on Aging in January, 2011. She is from Turkey and holds a Master's degree in aging.


 

Consultants

Rachel McDavid, Bookkeeper. 

Jia Wei Li, Website Assistant, High School Diploma Candidate, Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Career, New York City, from China. 

Jame Wong, System Administrator, B.S. in Computer Science, Brooklyn Polytechnic University.

Mei Fong Wong, Database Administrator, B.A. in Management Information Systems, Pace University. 

Volunteers

Nan Bauer-Maglin, Professor at the City University of New York, Editor for GAA. 

Amina Benser, Editor for GAA..

Ann Dillon Stanton, UN Volunteer. 

Cristina Dutilh, pursuing a MA in Spanish Literature from Hunter College of the City University of New York, NY, US, from Uruguay, Spanish Editor for GAA. 

Marcia Gleckler, Editor for GAA.

Patricia Green, UN Volunteer. 

Maria C. Rhor, pursuing a BA in Art History from Queens College City University of New York, Flushing, NY, US, from Ecuador, Spanish Editor for GAA.

Chiquita Smith, UN Volunteer

Carol Traynor, UN Volunteer.

Programs

Elder Rights
This Program advocates for the protection of older persons as a key element of the human rights movement. Increasingly subject to physical and emotional abuse, theft and negative stereotyping and discrimination, older persons often feel vulnerable and frightened. Older people often face serious discrimination in the workplace. While many rights issues affect them negatively, older persons are claiming new sets of entitlements, including choice of sexuality and sexual activity, appropriate housing, innovative care-giving programs, as well as more control over end of life decisions. GAA works with human rights and research organizations to focus attention on these elder concerns.

Health
Global Action on Aging examines older persons' access to health care, medicine and care, both in the US and worldwide. It also documents how the market system can distort and prevent quality care for most persons. GAA spotlights the actions of for-profit firms in the health field that restrict or compromise older persons' chance to live healthy lives.

Pension Watch
Since its beginnings, Global Action on Aging has examined how income support in old age, either public or private, shapes how older people can survive out of the workforce. GAA monitors efforts to reduce pension income and "reforms" that reduce services and income for older persons. It tracks policy changes and the debates about "dependence," "entitlements," "generational equity," and many other issues. GAA gets immediate reports from affected pensioner groups and needy older persons in many countries.

Rural Aging
Most older persons in the world live in rural areas. Largely isolated from journalists and researchers, they take the full brunt of rapidly changing policies, of environmental disasters, disease, and often wars. GAA seeks to document the barriers that rural elderly face and point to ways to overcome this isolation.

Armed Conflict & Emergencies Project 
Launched in Spring 2003, this Project posts research on the legal, humanitarian and physical challenges facing older persons caught in armed conflict. GAA, along with partner organizations, advocates at the United Nations for the Security Council's adoption of comprehensive international policies that address the problems and potential contributions of older persons at all stages of an armed conflict.

Aging Watch at the UN
This website section tracks on an ongoing basis the reports, decisions, and other actions in the major United Nations organs charged to follow-up decisions made at the World Assembly on Ageing in 2002. At this historic assembly held in Madrid, the Member States of the UN adopted a Political Declaration and Plan of Action on Ageing. The agenda spells out the international commitments to integrate older persons' rights into national and international policies-both economic and social. 


Foreign Language Programs
GAA's website contains articles and reports in the six official languages of the UN. Each language section covers US and World stories as well as country specific issues about aging. Thanks to the availability of these languages, GAA's website attracts visitors from Latin America, Asia and the former Soviet Union. Journalists from these areas routinely use GAA's information as the focus or background of stories on population aging.

Internship Program 
Global Action on Aging's internship program offers national and international students and young professionals a unique working experience. Interns meet diplomats, UN staff, researchers, policy experts as well as older persons drawn from trade union, religious, and civic leaders. Learning about critical aging issues, they enhance their research and writing skills while building a large contact network.

In 2005 GAA has hosted five resident interns from France, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Germany and the USA. In addition, "virtual" interns from Ukraine and China contribute weekly to our website. Interns research and post over 40 articles per week in the six UN languages.

Newsletter
Every week Global Action on Aging publishes a free electronic newsletter that features articles on health, elder rights, pension, rural aging, older persons in armed conflict and aging topics at the UN gathered from around the world. 

Events
In addition to its web-based work, GAA organizes educational seminars for its constituents. It also produces expert panels as "side events" for UN conferences. GAA staff and interns also join demonstrations and other public expressions showing our concern over older persons' rights.


Highlights

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 2001 | 2000- 1992



HIGHLIGHTS 2011

UNITED NATIONS

Commission for Social Development (February 9-18, 2011)
GAA, along with eight international NGOs that engage in advocacy on aging, presented a side event during the 49th Session of the Commission for Social Development. Member State Panelists exchanged strategies for winning increased support for a human rights convention or rapportuer to assure older people’ human rights worldwide.   On February 14, GAA hosted an advocacy meeting in its office with leading human rights NGOs on the rights of older persons.

Global Alliance to Strengthen the Human Rights of Older Persons
GAA along with eight other aging NGOs, created a joint advocacy platform for the rights of older people. On its website www.rightsalliance.org the alliance describes itself: “Established in 2011, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People was born out of the need to strengthen the rights and voice of older people globally.”

The Global Alliance organized Briefing Sessions preceding the OEWG sessions.   GAA, among others, chaired several sessions of NGOs attending these meetings.

Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG)
In 2011, the OEWG held one organizational meeting and two substantive sessions; Susanne Paul spoke at the latter two sessions underscoring the poverty of older persons in rich countries and developing countries.  At the first meeting on February 15, GAA President Susanne Paul led a group session.

International Day of Older Persons (IDOP)
October 1, 2011International NGOs and aging activists gathered to celebrate this Day and encourage NGOs to work toward a UN convention or rapportuer on elder rights.  Susanne Paul addressed the large gathering and urged NGOs to press their governments to draw up a convention to guarantee the human rights of older people.
 
NGO COMMITTEE ON AGING
Throughout 2011, GAA served as the Secretary and Co-chair of the SubCommittee to Promote a Human Rights Convention on Aging (CTP). GAA Coordinator, Duygu Basaran, led these efforts that focused on mobilizing NGO’s to support a human rights instrument for older persons worldwide.

PROJECTS AND EVENTS
Throughout 2011, GAA organized eight seminar sessions for CWA 1180 trade union retirees from New York City. They examined specific human rights of older people such as liberty and security.

March 2011  GAA organized a “Welcome Party” for its new Program Coordinator, Duygu Basaran. UN delegations, staff, GAA friends and neighbors attended the event.

April 2011, during the First Working Session of the OEWG, GAA hosted a large party to celebrate the first steps toward a binding human rights treaty for older people. Later in August, GAA organized a reception for the delegations, UN staff, and NGOs, in honor of the Second Working Session of the OEWG.

Susanne Paul addressed a very large JASA (Jewish Association Serving the Aging ) meeting in its New York Workshop on the human rights treaty process.   On October 16, Susanne Paul spoke at the Pan Pacific and Southeast Asia Women's Association at the emerging Convention process.   In November 2011, GAA Program Coordinator Duygu Basaran spoke at the “Careers in Not-for-Profit Panel” at Berkeley College, New York. On November 8, Susanne Paul addressed the New York Bar Association.

In December 2011, GAA organized a day time party for its friends and donors to celebrate the holidays. CWA 1180 Retirees and Staff joined us. Several senior UN officials attended and exchanged views about aging rights and opportunities across the globe with GAA’s supporters.

INTERNSHIPS
In 2011, GAA hosted 16 interns from China, France, El Salvador, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Libya, Colombia, Morocco and Nicaragua. The interns participated in multiple networking lunches.

WEBSITE and GAA Blog
For the first time, GAA took on an intern to blog on aging issues. A full time nanny and a human rights advocate, Sanna Klemetti, contributed many intriguing articles.
In March, interns met with the UN Representative for Rotary International, Sylvan Barnet. In May 2011, The Ambassador of Bahamas to the UN, Paulette Bethel, accepted our luncheon invite and shared her valuable experience with our interns. In October, Susan Farkas from Farkas Media gave our video intern tips about shooting and editing videos. We are thankful for all of their contributions.

In 2011 with the creation of UN’s Open Ended Working Group on Ageing, GAA designed a new page on its website “United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing.” GAA also added more videos under its video section thanks to our talented multimedia intern, Shuang Wang from China.

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