On the 1st of October, Fleurenville joins the international community to commemorate the International Day of Older Persons. We continue to celebrate this occasion to acknowledge the contribution, past and present, of our elderly men and women in the development of our country, and we celebrate our seniors and the key role they play in sharing their wisdom and experience that inform today’s decisions and actions, and fostering the connection and engagement that build strong, resilient communities.
It is a time to say thank you and well done for their many achievements and successes. But it is also a time for national reflection and decisive action. At Fleurenville, we recognise our responsibility to ensure that every elderly person has the opportunity to age with dignity.
Tapping the talents, contributions and participation of older persons in society reminds us that ageing can no longer be viewed as an issue that is separate from development. It is a global theme that reflects the new realities and possibilities of an ageing world population. A theme that inspires and asks our elderly not to look back on their lives with regret but to look to the future to what they can still achieve.
Today, our elderly are living longer and have access to better care, community, social and health services. They still have so much energy and motivation to continue to participate and make a positive contribution to their families and society. We must therefore move towards a new paradigm where ageing is seen not as a disempowering process but as a natural phase of life where older people remain valued and are enabled to fully contribute in the various aspects of social, cultural, economic and civic and political life.
At Fleurenville, we are aware of the challenges as well as the opportunities posed by the current demographic transformation characterised by declining fertility and increasing longevity. We know that our working-age population is shrinking while the proportion of older persons is growing. We need to take decisive action. Our goal is to maintain adequate living standards for our residents as they grow older while recognising and harnessing their skills and experience.
But we cannot address just the economic implications of population ageing. We have to address the issue in a comprehensive and systematic manner. As society step into the future and adopt a balanced approach to the provision of social protection and economic goals, how can we promote the principles of meaningful, active and healthy ageing?
Fleurenville is determined to face this new development challenge because we remain convinced that there are so many new possibilities ahead. Our older men and women have always been a force for change. We stand proudly today because they dared to grasp the opportunities that they were given.
Today we say thank you, but we also say your contribution is still needed for the sustainable development of Fleurenville. You still have a role to play. We look forward to continuing to work together, men and women, young and old, together to build a more prosperous and harmonious Fleurenville.
I wish all the elderly a blessed and dedicated Older Persons Month.