Rights of older persons, population issues key focus in Việt Nam

A new partnership between the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Việt Nam and the Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI) was signed on Thursday.

Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Việt Nam (left) and her Japanese partner at the signing ceremony. — Photo courtesy of the UNFPA


The UNFPA and MRI representatives committed to working closely together in joining hands with the Government of Việt Nam and the international community to effectively address population ageing and other emerging population issues in the country. 

Population ageing is a global phenomenon. Between 2015 and 2050, it is estimated that the number of older persons aged 65 and above worldwide is set to increase from 703 million to about 1.5 billion, accounting for 15.5 per cent of the world's total population. 

Việt Nam has officially entered the "ageing phase" since 2011 and is projected to become an "aged" society by 2036. Currently, the number of older persons (60 years or over) is 12.6 million, 12.8 per cent of the total population. It is expected to increase to 22 million by 2038, accounting for 20 per cent of the total population. Việt Nam is one of the most rapidly ageing countries in the world. 

Addressing the signing ceremony, Kenji Yabuta, MRI President, said: "In Japan, the population has been ageing rapidly since the 1980s, and the proportion of the elderly out of the total population is now the highest in the world at over 28 per cent. We are very pleased to sign the MOU with UNFPA in Việt Nam and feel that UNFPA is truly acting as a bridge between Japan and Việt Nam".

Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA representative in Việt Nam, said: "We'll be working closely to promote the rights and dignity of older people by improving health and social care services and creating an enabling environment for the elderly.

"Following the signing event today, the plan is for both UNFPA and MRI to explore the best models for Việt Nam in providing for older persons and preparing young generations for a future in which all ages are celebrated, and no one is left behind."  

This new partnership will focus on the issues of ageing and other population matters, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, health care for young people, and gender equality.

Key activities include conducting joint research and communications; consulting and supporting project execution, and organising events for public sharing of research findings; developing personnel training and exchange programmes; promoting public-private partnerships in the light of population ageing and emerging population trends; and expanding a network of Vietnamese and Japanese entities to encourage the development of care and support for the elderly. — VNS


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