Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As prepared for delivery by Yedidya Cohen
UN Human Rights Council 33rd Session
September 15, 2016
The United States thanks the Independent Expert for her report on the human rights of older persons. Two U.S. responses to UN questionnaires describe our efforts on behalf of older persons. We replied to the March 2015 inquiry from the Chair of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing, outlining U.S. policies and programs in the areas of health, financial well-being, protection of older persons, social integration, effective data collection and analysis, community services, and the empowerment of older women. Our response to the Independent Expert’s March 2015 letter cited specific measures by which the United States achieves the objectives of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing.
The Independent Expert’s most recent report mentions some proposals which we find valuable, but some on which there are differing views. For example, the report refers to a universal public pension and a new UN international legal instrument on older persons. Given finite resources, is it feasible to expect every country to provide a universal public pension? And what would a new convention add to the protections already present in existing human rights treaties, which apply to persons of all ages, including older persons? Wouldn’t implementing the practical measures in the Madrid Plan address older persons’ concerns more rapidly and effectively than preparing a new UN convention?