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May 28, 2015

Archbishop Tutu Joins HelpAge International’s Campaign to Make Older People Count

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is backing young and old to demand that everyone counts when governments agree on global goals to reduce poverty at the UN later this year.

“As we get older our rights do not change. As we get older, we are no less human and should not become invisible,” said 84-year-old Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a video released today.

Life expectancy is on the rise and the demographic make-up of the world’s population is changing at an unprecedented rate. Today, there are more than 895 million women and men aged 60 and over, representing 12 per cent of the global population. By 2030, this is projected to rise to 1.3 billion or 16 per cent while the proportion of people aged 15-24 will be 15 per cent.

May is the month when the global campaign, action/2015, hots up to highlight the importance of all ages in the Sustainable Development Goals being set for the next fifteen years at the United Nations in September and later at the UN Climate Change Conference COP21 in December.

The action/2015 May Month of Action will feature 14 Global Action Days – organised on themes of ageism, child health, faith and climate change, gender equality and hunger and nutrition – as well as hundreds of events including marches, concerts, flash mobs, workshops and debates throughout the month.

“This year decision-makers have the chance to include all ages in their plans for the years ahead,” said Toby Porter, Chief Executive Officer at HelpAge International.

“Across the world, from the Philippines to Zimbabwe, we are joining hands with the world’s older people, who too often go unheard and uncounted. We want to make sure older people are included in these goals to ensure they are legitimate,” he added.

Action All Ages events, to highlight the importance of the SDGs, will be taking place in ten countries around the world.

To learn more about this awesome campaign, visit http://www.helpage.org/get-involved/campaigns/action2015/

Source: HelpAge International 

May 27, 2015

‘Use Myanmar aid to save Rohingya’: Tutu in Oslo

South Africa’s Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu yesterday called for international aid to Myanmar to be linked to the plight of the country’s persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

“2015 is a big year for Myanmar with both a referendum on its constitution and a general election,” Tutu told an Oslo conference on the Rohingya.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that the plight of the Rohingya is not lost,” he said in a pre-recorded message aired to participants.

“We have a responsibility to persuade our international and regional aid and grant-making institutions, including the European Union, to adopt a common position making funding the development of Myanmar conditional on the restoration of citizenship, nationality, and basic human rights to the Rohingya,” he said.

The 1984 Nobel laureate is an anti-apartheid hero respected around the world as a moral authority.

Tens of thousands of Myanmar’s 1.3 million Rohingya have fled the country in recent years, to escape sectarian violence as well as suffocating restrictions preventing travel and employment.

Each year thousands of Rohingya try to flee Myanmar by boat headed for other Southeast Asian countries, spurring a human trafficking trade in often dramatic conditions.

Source: AFP, Oslo