New GAROP Chair and Deputy Chairs

The GAROP Steering Group selected its new Chair and Deputy Chairs this week.

Dr. Kiran Rabheru of the ILC Canada is the new Chair of GAROP with immediate effect. On his selection as Chair, Kiran responded to fellow Steering Group members, ‘It is an honour and a privilege – a responsibility that I pledge to fulfil GAROP’s vision and mandate and to meet your expectations with integrity and transparency. I will be counting on each of you to work together in pursuit of our mutual goal of making the lives of older persons better by securing a UN convention on the rights of older persons.’  Kiran paid tribute to Ken Bluestone of Age International, the outgoing Chair, saying ‘Ken’s generous, relentless, and tireless support for GAROP is truly appreciated. We all look forward to learning from his wisdom, experience, and mentorship.

The Steering Group also selected two Deputy Chairs to support Kiran in his work as Chair. The new Deputy Chairs are Naraidoo Gava Naraidoo (Vijay Naraidoo) of DIS-MOI in Mauritius and Isabel Lovrincevich of ILC Argentina. Reacting to his selection, Vijay said ‘I express my sincere thanks to the whole team for the confidence you have placed in me.’ Isabel commented ‘It is a great joy for me and I am sure that together we will be able to form a great team to accompany Kiran.

A message from our new Chair

Our new Chair, Dr. Kiran Rabheru (pictured here), shared the following message with GAROP members:

‘Our work at GAROP is even more relevant and critical in creating an environment that will lead to a UN convention to protect the human rights of older persons. The timing is critical and now is the time to act decisively and strategically! The lethal pandemic of ageism and crisis against older persons created by the COVID-19 pandemic has also provided an opportunity to move forward with GAROP’s mission to galvanize the world in support of the convention. 

As a physician / geriatric psychiatrist and an older person myself who cares for others with physical and mental illness on the front-lines every day, I have lived experience of the systemic atrocities committed against older persons every single day. This segment of our population often has no voice, no choice, no priority, no advocate, no family, no safe place to live, no productive activity to engage in and no one to love or care for them. This must change. I am strongly committed and passionate to see a pivotal shift in attitudes, values, and priorities towards a more humane approach, care and respect for the rights of older persons, who represent our parents and grandparents. 

GAROP provides us the opportunity to influence the global system with respect to the way older persons will be treated in the future.’