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Ageing, solidarity and social protection: time for progress towards equality. Third Regional Intergovernmental Conference on Ageing in Latin America and the Caribbean, San José, 8-11 May 2012

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UN symbol.: LC/L.3451(CRE.3/3) 97 p. Editorial: CEPAL April 2012


This document analyses the outlook for population ageing and advocates mainstreaming this issue into the public agenda. To this end, it starts by introducing its central theme: equality and ageing. The concepts are presented and analysed, with particular emphasis on the challenges facing social protection and solidarity. Next, the document provides a demographic overview of the region, illustrating the main population trends in the years ahead. In particular, it describes the demographic window of opportunity presented by an unprecedented situation in most countries of the region: a falling demographic dependency rate as a result of a declining fertility rate. If the right decisions are taken, this is an ideal time to invest in expanding social protection and developing capacities in all age groups. Attention is then turned to income security and the rising demand for health care and social services. The main trends are examined and the State's responsibilities in terms of expanding and improving these benefits are identified. The document next examines the regulatory and institutional mechanisms for building equality, including the current position, how these mechanisms have furthered the equality agenda, and the obstacles to achieving real equality. Lastly, the document summarizes the headway made in implementing the Brasilia Declaration since its adoption in 2007, weighing up the achievements to date and, most importantly, helping to identify priority areas for action in the short and medium terms.