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About this symposium
It was agreed at the last FIAPA General Assembly, in Rome in April 2016, that this year’s meeting, in April 2017, should take place in Havana, Cuba at the same time as the International Congress for Associations of Older People.
I am delighted to inform you that the Minister of Health for Cuba has included the Symposium – «The Rights of Older People in the World» in his official diary of Cuban events for the year, from 3 to 6 April 2017. There will be a programme of professional visits, and a number of excursions are being arranged (on 7, 8 and 9 April) for delegates who are staying longer in Havana.
As you know, Cuba is one of the Latin American countries in which the population is ageing most quickly, as it is a country in which the population pyramid has been turned upside down in a short space of time. Public sector organisations and NGOs in Cuba have responded by launching a variety of research programmes and taking a number of other gerontological initiatives – including the establishment of a Training Centre for Carers. This experience constitutes a rich, multi-dimensional foundation on which to base the discussions which will be at the heart of the Symposium.
I am confident that this International Congress will be an ideal forum at which to share good practice and to review the current status of older people in the world.
We are expecting the active involvement of associations which are members of FIAPA, of institutions which are FIAPA’s partners, and of governments keen to defend and promote the rights of older people.
We are also expecting older people to attend in order to make their voices heard and to share their experiences of isolation, loneliness, discrimination, abuse, and so on.
The Symposium will feature meetings of several scientific committees and a Havana Manifesto will be agreed, for subsequent publication and worldwide distribution – especially in countries where FIAPA has members and partners, and to a variety of European, African, Latin American and UN institutions and other bodies.
It gives me great pleasure to confirm that official supporters of the Symposium, in addition to the Minister of Health for Cuba, will be the Cuban Society for Gerontology and Geriatrics (Sociedad Cubana de Gerontología y Geriatría), the Cuban Centre for the Study of Longevity, Ageing and Health (Centro de Investigaciones sobre Longevidad, Envejecimiento y Salud, CITED), and the Cuban National Union of Architects and Construction Engineers (La Unión Nacional de Arquitectos e Ingenieros de la Construcción de Cuba, UNAICC).
The Continental Network of Older People of Latin America and the Caribbean (Red Continental de Personas Mayores de América Latina y el Caribe, REDCONT) will play an active role in the Symposium, and will hold its sixth annual meeting there.
Thank you in advance for your interest. I look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible to Havana.