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Tutu Lends Support to Age Campaign

Desmond Tutu campaigns for the rights of older people as part of Help Age International's Action 2015. (Credit: Help Age Int'l)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is lending his support to a campaign to ensure the rights of older people. The Nobel Laureate wants the issue included in the new U.N. Sustainable Development Goals being finalized late this year

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Help Age International estimated there are nearly 900-million people aged 60 and over, representing 12-percent of the world’s population. Archbishop Tutu, who’s 83, has joined the organization’s Action 2015 campaign.

“As we get older, our bodies change. We lose some of our dexterity and physical strength. But our rights do not change. We may have fewer teeth, but we are no less human. We do not and should not become invisible,” he said.

Tutu has released a video-taped message supporting the campaign to influence the Sustainable Development Goals. They will replace the Millennium Development Goals and be in effect for the next 15 years.

“2015 is an important year for us ‘oldies.’ A pair of United Nations summits tackling the issues of our time – poverty, inequality, the environment and climate change – are platforms that we should embrace and influence. We can show the world who we are – where we fit in – what we hope to see.”

Help Age International said the over 60 demographic is on the rise. By 2030, their projected number will be 1.3-billion and 16-percent of the global population.

Tutu said, “We’d like to tell the world that we count. That older people everywhere count. And that people of all ages should be considered when we set our Sustainable Development Goals.”

Tutu – one of the leaders in the fight against Apartheid in South Africa – says, “No future development goals can be considered legitimate or sustainable unless they include people of all ages.”