The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, agreed last year, aims to end poverty and build a more sustainable world over the next 15 years. Ending neglect, abuse and violence against older people is a vital if we are to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and fulfil their underlying pledge to leave no one behind.
Abuse and violence directed at older people take many forms, including partner and stranger violence, psychological and emotional abuse and financial exploitation. The World Health Organization estimates that up to ten per cent of older people may be affected in some countries.
Older women suffer from age and gender discrimination and are more vulnerable than men. Abuse of older women often follows a lifetime of discrimination, violence and oppression. I am particularly alarmed by growing reports of older women who are accused of witchcraft, making them targets of abuse from their own families and communities.
On this Day, I call upon Member States and civil society to strengthen their resolve and redouble their efforts to eliminate all forms of violence and abuse against older people.