Global Coalition on Aging  

Press Release: 03/19/12

GLOBAL COALITION ON AGING EXPERTS HEADLINE FIRST WORLD CONGRESS ON HEALTHY AGEING

Coalition Brings Business Perspective to Global Aging Dialogue
                                                                                                          
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (Mar. 19, 2012) – The Global Coalition on Aging will lead two plenary sessions during the First World Congress on Healthy Ageing, calling for business, government, NGOs, communities and individuals to take action toward increasing personal well being, productivity and economic growth as societies are aging at unprecedented rates.  The Global Coalition is a main supporter of the congress, which takes place March 19-22 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“The creation of good health policy today in light of 21st-century aging trends is essential economic policy for tomorrow, as nations must prepare for the imminent onslaught of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), like diabetes, cancers, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s, which are rapidly increasing in terms of prevalence and costs as we age,” said Coalition Executive Director Michael Hodin.  “This congress is especially timely as the EU celebrates its Year of Healthy and Active Aging and the World Health Organization focuses World Health Day 2012 on aging and health.  The Global Coalition on Aging applauds the Malaysian Healthy Ageing Society and the WHO for organizing this groundbreaking event, which will lead the way toward identifying the policies and partnerships that will bring about real change across the Asia-Pacific and the globe.”

Population aging – a combination of longer life and a decrease in birth rates – is leading to a shift in the size and proportion of those traditionally viewed as “old” compared to “young.”  To address this shift, the Global Coalition envisions nothing short of defining a new middle age – 55 to 75 – around which policy and markets will enable an active and healthier life that transforms this demographic cohort from being dependent to becoming economic contributors. 
 
The congress will welcome more than 1,000 leaders and innovators from across health care, government, business and academia.  The two sessions presented by the Global Coalition are:

(1)           March 20: “Investment in Health as Economic Policy for 21st-Century Active Aging” will focus on how economic policy and health policy are inextricably linked, bringing particular focus on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as cost drivers that demand a call for action, and
(2)           March 22: “New Approaches to Healthy Ageing from Across the Globe” will present examples from the region and from global business to highlight how innovation and collaborative efforts are critical in changing the mindset and taking action to turn population aging into opportunity.

“We welcome the Global Coalition’s business perspective to the congress and the Asia-Pacific region, in which we have both developed and developing nations seeing incredible growth in the 60-plus population over the next few decades,” said Assoc. Prof. Nathan Vytialingam, President of the Malaysian Healthy Ageing Society and Organising Chairman of the 2012 Congress.  According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 62 percent of the world’s 60-plus population, or 1.2 billion people, will live in Asia in 2050.  “In our region and globally, we pledge to work with the Coalition and other like-minded partners within business, government, NGOs, and other innovators to find solutions that promote healthy aging and opportunities for growth.”

Experts headlining the Coalition plenary sessions include:

  • John Beard, Director of the Department of Ageing and Life Course, World Health Organization (Switzerland)
  • Dan Brindle, Senior Director, International Public Affairs & Policy (Asia), Pfizer (China)
  • Antonio Dans, President, Philippine Society of General Internal Medicine; Professor, University of the Philippines College of Medicine, Department of Medicine, UP College of Medicine (Philippines)
  • William Green, Director of Public Affairs and Relations, Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition (The Netherlands)
  • Prof. Anindya Mishra, Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute Technology, Roorkee (India)
  • Melissa Mitchell, Deputy Director, Global Coalition on Aging (United States)
  • Gregor Rae, Chairman and CEO, BusinessLab and ActiveAge (United Kingdom)
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