IFA 16th Global Conference on Ageing

Challenge – Transformation – Change

The 16th Global Conference on Ageing is set against the backdrop of important international agendas that align and intersect with the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing.  The launch of the Decade prompted the IFA to publically pledge to view all work streams through the lens of the four action areas – combatting ageism, integrated care, long term care and age-friendly environments. Our outward facing strategy reflects knowledge creation and mobilization, advocacy to influence policy and innovative communication strategies that transform and make sense of these areas in an applied way.

Unlike previous conference we are boldly focusing only on five themes – digital technologies, older women, maintaining and improving function, immunisation, and age-friendly environments which will be seen the lens of both the actions areas and enablers.  For instance, there are links between frailty, adult vaccination, NCDs, long term care and integrated care.

Dr Jane Barratt talking

Our pledge is a statement of purpose for which there are different yet aligned narratives from government, nongovernment, industry and academia.

It is both the alignment and the connectedness of the action areas with global agendas such as the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, the Immunisation Agenda 2030, the 13th General Program of Work, the WHO Report on Hearing, the UN Sustainable Development Goals that creates that tapestry which is a work in progress across all sectors and all disciplines.

For IFA the Decade is almost in our DNA, with the action areas being the spine and the enablers being the mechanisms through which we build community, assess policy and measure change across these years and beyond.  One of our contributions to the Decade is The Vanishing Project which will enable older people to tell their stories through images and the spoken word – stories of resilience, of pain, of contributions, of their courage and of their insistent optimism for the future.

Central to our contribution and those of civil society is the almost dogged commitment to broker partnerships, strengthen relationships, be the bridge between stakeholders whose paths have never crossed and should and positively disrupt the ever-changing landscape.

Of special note is great progress made in agenda building across WHO technical units and the rich presence of our UN regional colleagues.  We do not underestimate the complexity of the workings yet block by block foundations are built that will remain beyond 2030.

group of people gathering in a theater

2022 constituted a landmark achievement with more than 280 members of civil society from 74 countries participating in an initiative coalescing around ways in which the power and influence of our collective voice can be used in the most instructive and constructive – being that critical global friend that can capture, synthesis and convey new knowledge in a way that contributes to effective policy and programs.

Formal collaboration across civil society to help drive the agenda of the Decade was an agreed outcome of the subsequent Colloquium where we heard from colleagues around the world as well as those from the NCD Alliance and the Sun Alliance.

group of people gathering in a conference

Going forward we are working to establish the Decade of Health Ageing Alliance to be launched early in 2023.

This Alliance will bring together those in the field of ageing but most importantly the many faces of civil society such as architecture, climate change, law, that inform and impact the lives of older people. with a compelling focus.

Civil society organizations are unique and powerful voices working with and on behalf of their constituents and are much more influential when working together than when acting alone.

Achieving health for all, including the current and future generations of older people, is only conceivable when we share the valuable resources, knowledge and close community connections that makes us who we are and what we stand for.

Working towards a common agenda even when our organizations come to issues from different perspectives enriches the policy dialogue and maximizes potential for success. We must immerse ourselves in collective thinking and action to establish the new, reinvigorate the old and strengthen the current partnerships built on unity, trust, solidarity and action.

The Story Behind It

When community building, the power to share our own stories and hear the stories of others is foundational and uplifts us all. By reflecting and understanding our own lives and those of others, we connect our shared experiences and learn from our differences. This process of sharing stories strengthens our ability to consider different perspectives and builds our empathy towards others.

Through the act of storytelling, we practice being vulnerable as we share our own stories. When we hear stories of others, we practice the art of deep listening. The dual nature of storytelling, consisting of vulnerability and listening, form two crucial characteristics of community building.

Global Conference on Ageing Themes

The 16th Global Conference Keynote Speaker

IFA to Announce Prof. Denise Eldemire-Shearer as Keynote Speaker at the 16th Global Conference on Ageing


GlobalConf_speakerThe International Federation on Ageing is pleased to announce Denise Eldemire-Shearer, Professor of Ageing and Public Health at the University of the West Indies Ageing and Wellness Centre Jamaica, as the keynote speaker at the 16th edition of the IFA Global Conference on Ageing, held this year in Bangkok, Thailand from June 27-30.

Prof. Eldemire-Shearer has been working in the field of ageing since 1982, on behalf of older persons and ageing issues for over 40 years. Championing causes for senior citizens, she has spent decades engaging in researching, listening, and working on policy initiatives. She was responsible as Chairman of the National Council for Senior Citizens for Jamaica, launching a National Policy for Senior Citizens in 1997, which embraced the active ageing principles and the United Nations principles for older persons – including the gender and life course perspectives and the importance of intergenerational activities.


Download the Press Release