Calendar of Gray Panthers’ participation at the High Level Political Forum


July 9, 2018

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the world’s blueprint for social, economic and environmental development up to year 2030.  Gray Panthers has been an active and effective advocate in the global push for the rights of older persons in this comprehensive agenda. 

The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is an annual review of the progress of these goals. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2018   

Held for two weeks at United Nations headquarters in NYC, hundreds of NGOs from around the world seek to participate at each HLPF.  Gray Panthers is one of the few NGOs speaking specifically for older persons, along with AARP, HelpAge International, International Longevity Center, and others.  

We confront ageism by bringing the voices of older persons to this important global convocation.  Below are some of the concrete ways that Gray Panthers strives to achieve this goal:

  1. Frances Zainoeddin, Gray Panthers Steering Committee member, has worked tirelessly with the Stakeholder Group on Ageing ensuring that all reporting deadlines are met; that the constituency of older persons gets significant attention in the process, and as many speaking opportunities as possible.
  2. Frances is an active and respected member of the planning groups for the HLPF so that the voices of NGOs remain powerful at that level.  Her influence is notable. 
  3. Organizing an important panel discussion, Gray Panthers is collaborating with 2 organizations (Global Coalition against Poverty and Action for Sustainable Development) to educate representatives on the issue of: Removing the barriers for all women – including girls and older women and women with disabilities – to water, sanitation and hygiene, with a focus on their safety and security.
  4. As an active member of the Stakeholder Group on Ageing, Gray Panthers has helped plan the event of the Stakeholder Group on Ageing:  “Building inclusive and resilient cities in an ageing world.”  This is particularly relevant to HLPF’s focus this year on Sustainable and Resilient Cities.
  5. Gray Panthers led the writing and finalizing of the position paper of the Stakeholder Group on Ageing https://www.stakeholdergrouponageing.org/File%20Library/Position%20Papers/Final-SGA-paper-for-HLPF--2-.pdf.  This paper focuses on the importance of identifying solutions for older persons in the urban environment.
  6. On July 13, 2018, Sylvia Beales, global ageing leader, and Gray Panthers consultant, will be the Lead Discussant during one of the most important Thematic Reviews attended by all Member States.  She will address  “Leaving No One Behind” in this ambitious global agenda, using the situation of older persons as an example of those constituencies which have experienced marginalization.  She is speaking as a representative of Gray Panthers. This is big!
  7. Gray Panthers is coordinating with other NGOs to establish carefully-crafted questions to be asked of Member States with regard to their progress on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 
  8. Gray Panthers interns will be working hard to support all efforts to assure that the voice of older persons is loud and proud at this year’s HLPF.
  9. Gray Panthers is so proud to be a member of the Stakeholder Group on Ageing.  We support every effort of the SGA and work ceaselessly to maintain the focus on the concerns of older persons. https://www.stakeholdergrouponageing.org 
  10. Gray Panthers is an active member of Action for Sustainable Development. https://action4sd.org and has a seat in the Facilitation Group of A4SD (similar to a Board of Directors and very active at the HLPF.)  Gray Panthers is supporting their efforts by helping organize various educational seminars, helping to consolidate notes and disseminate notes, and promoting the concerns of older persons to advocates who might not otherwise consider these important issues. 
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