Details of the Eleventh OEWG Session

IMPORTANT: Please note that due to the global situation around the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), this session has been postponed. In the meantime, the consultations on the draft recommendations will continue on a remote basis and updates about this will be posted on the official UN website. You can read GAROP’s response to the session being postponed here

The eleventh session of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG) was due to take place between 6th and 9th April 2020 in the United Nations Headquarters in New York. In this eleventh session, UN Member States were due to once again hold substantive discussions about specific areas of human rights where the protection of older people’s rights requires greater attention.

Focus areas of rights

These substantive debates will include further discussion around how the two focus areas discussed in the tenth session of the OEWG should be articulated in a new convention (‘normative inputs’):

  • Social protection and social security, including social protection floors
  • Education, training, lifelong learning and capacity-building

The eleventh session will also include substantive debate around two new focus areas:

  • Access to justice
  • The right to work and access to the labour market

The UN called for written submissions on the above focus areas by 30th November 2019. All governments, A-status National Human Rights Institutes and accredited NGOs can submit written inputs. Inputs must be in English and of no more than 800 words per focus area. You can now see all of the written submissions by different stakeholders on the official OEWG website here.

To support our members’ work on these focus areas, GAROP has organised two webinars in partnership with the International Federation on Ageing to focus on the two new focus areas to be discussed at the eleventh session. The webinar on ‘Access to justice in older age’ took place on 22nd August and you can now view the summary and listen to the recording of the webinar here. The webinar on ‘The right to work and access to the labour market in older age’ took place on 5th September and you can read the summary and listen to the recording of the webinar here.

GAROP members are also leading two Technical Groups working to develop suggested normative content on the other focus areas of education and social protection. If you are a GAROP member and would like to join one or both of these groups, please contact the GAROP Secretariat on ‘‘ for more information in the first instance.

GAROP and the IFA also hosted a webinar in July that presented HelpAge’s F.A.I.R. Guidelines, which provide a step-by-step guide on how to influence your government’ position on a convention. The recording of the webinar and links to access the F.A.I.R. Guidelines in English, Spanish, Russian and Arabic are now available here.

Online pre-registrations are now open

Online pre-registrations for the 11th session are now open on the official website here using the UN’s Indico registration system. The deadline is 25th March. Even if your NGO is accredited, you must still register to attend the session in New York.

NGO preparatory event

GAROP is organising a preparatory workshop for NGOs and National Human Rights Institutions who plan to attend the 11th OEWG session on Sunday 5th April. The workshop will be held from 13:30-18:00 at the AARP offices in New York. To view the programme and register please visit the event page here.

*We are aware that some UN meetings in New York are being cancelled due to the coronavirus risk. Any updates about this civil society workshop and the OEWG session will be posted here and on the Eventbrite page. We advise anybody travelling to New York to take out appropriate travel insurance to cover possible cancellations.

Accreditation now closed for NGOs

NGOs who are not yet accredited to the OEWG can apply ahead of the OEWG sessions. The deadline for accreditation applications ahead of the 11th session closed on 10th February 2020. The official OEWG website has more information about how to become accredited here. The next opportunity to become accredited will be early 2021. You can read more about the benefits of accrediting to the OEWG here.