As part of the General Assembly discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the United Nations convened an “interactive dialogue with stakeholders” on March 25, 2015.

The objective of the dialogue is to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to comments on the targets and indicators suggested for the SDGs.

Margaret Gillis, President of ILC Canada, represented both the ILC Global Alliance and the “Stakeholder Group on Ageing”, an organization that advocates for older people’s rights at the UN and which represents the interests of more than 800 million older people globally.

The speech, which is found on the link below, focussed in on the glaring omissions in the indicators as they pertain to older people.  Noting that nearly 16% of the global population will be over the age of 60 by the time the SDGs are fully implemented, this intervention demonstrated that the current indicators would exclude older people from the important outcomes of the SDGs.

The speech cited explicit examples of the shortfalls of the indicators, such as Target 5.2 on sexual violence which limits data collection to ages 15 to 49.  This indicator perpetuates a long discredited notion that sexual violence is perpetrated only on women of childbearing age, and effectively ignores the most abhorrent forms of elder abuse.

The speech illustrated that the omissions did not reflect the UN principle of “leave no one behind,” the Chair of the UN sessions called the arguments “persuasive” and noted that the UN “are caught in the past”.

The ILC Global Alliance has a strong history in advocating for rights of older people and will continue to monitors the UN work on the SDGs to ensure the inclusion of older people in development.

The "interactive dialogue with stakeholders" is available to view here.

Margaret Gillis, President, ILC Canada


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