Retired 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 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals scheduled to be finished in late 2015.
Nearly 900 million people are age 60 and over, representing 12 percent of the world’s population, Help Age International estimated. Tutu, 84, joined the organization’s Action 2015 campaign.
“As we get older, our bodies change,” he said. “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.”
Tutu has released a video 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.
Help Age International said the over-60 demographic is on the rise. By 2030, the age group is projected to represent 1.3 billion people and 16 percent of the global population.
“We’d like to tell the world that we count,” Tutu said. “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, said, “No future development goals can be considered legitimate or sustainable unless they include people of all ages.”