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UN report spotlights socio-economic challenges posed by ageing populations

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As the proportion of older persons is increasing at unprecedented rates worldwide, countries are required to have fresh looks with respect to national policies, particularly those relating to pension systems and health care, according to a new United Nations report launched on 19 June, 2007.

The number of people aged 60 years and older is expected to increase from 670 million in 2005 to nearly 2 billion in 2050, and some 80 per cent of them will live in developing countries, as per the latest issue of World Economic and Social Survey. Designed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, and entitled Development in an Ageing World, the 2007 report notes the “profound impact” ageing has on economic and social development. The report emphasizes that pension systems in developing countries are “significantly underdeveloped,” and that without urgent pension reform there could be 1.2 billion people without income security by 2050.

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