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|Wednesday, November 07, 2001, updated at 11:29(GMT+8)|
Aisa-Pacific Conference of HelpAge International Opens in BeijingThe 2001 HelpAge International (HAI) Asia-Pacific Regional Conference opened in Beijing Tuesday.
Hosted by the China National Committee on Ageing (CNCA), the four-day event was attended by over 80 representatives from HAI, United Nations Economic & Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and various aged care organizations from the Asia-Pacific region.
With the theme of "voices of older people", the conference has organized a series of discussions on issues closely related to older people's lives, such as poverty relief, community health care, handling of emergencies, and HIV/AIDs impact.
Based on the result of these discussions, a summary document --"Beijing Declaration", will be drawn up at the conclusion of the conference. This is expected to work as a reference document for the Second World Assembly on Ageing scheduled for Spain next year.
Li Baoku, chairman of CNCA, said at the conference that to listen to the voice of older people, to help them overcome difficulties and to ensure they have a happy life should be the basic tasks of those working with the elderly.
In recent years, China has established a comprehensive social security system for the aged, set up a system to ensure the basic living standard for urban residents, and also developed numerous community service facilities for older people, which have improved older people's living conditions, Li added.
Todd Petersen, chief executive of HAI, said that HAI would cooperate closely with CNCA in handling the problems of the aged.
With London as its headquarters, HelpAge International (HAI) is an international non-government organization dealing particularly with global ageing, and whose member organizations cover 70 countries and regions.
HAI is dedicated to improving the living conditions of older people, and has made contributions to the promotion of cooperation between the aged care organizations in the Asia-Pacific region.
People aged 60 or over in China make up 10 percent of the total national population, and the proportion is growing larger, experts say.
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