“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi
These words echo our founder’s: “The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.” - Ethel Percy Andrus
For over 35 years AARP has been engaged in advocacy at the United Nations where it plays a leading role in working with government representatives, businesses, and NGOs to champion the issues of global aging. As our world gets more globalized, the UN itself is evolving to ensure greater collaboration with stakeholders, which include civil society and the private sector.
AARP the largest US nonprofit, working on the issues of the 50+, plays a leadership role at the UN through its collaboration with the UN Focal Point on Ageing in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Together we cohost an annual briefing series during the Commission for Social Development which brings together thought leaders, academics, business, and think tanks, to discuss and highlight innovations and trends in workforce, retirement, livable communities, health and finance.
AARP is an active participant at UN meetings, whether they are at the Commissions, Expert Groups, and Working Groups through its interventions, statements, delivered to plenary bodies, and governments. Through its membership in the UN NGO Committee on Ageing (NGO COA), AARP staff and volunteers work to inform Mission Representatives to the United Nations on the issues under discussion at the UN which impact policy at the National and International level. Currently, countries are engaged in a global discussion on the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. AARP is at the table and works hard to raise awareness of older persons to be included in the outcomes of the discussions. This includes working with other major groups including the youth.
As a member of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older Persons, an alliance of international NGOs, AARP supports the Rights of Older Persons by advocating for a legally binding instrument, for the protection of older persons globally by supporting a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.
Through working with UN agencies, AARP has taken part and organized several events including: World Elder Abuse Dayy, International Day of Older Persons, World Health Day, International Day of Volunteers, and International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
As part of AARP’s social mission we work to build a society for all. Our work at the UN is reflective of this commitment and to ensure that older persons around the globe receive the protections, as we do for our constituents in this country, to leave the world a better place for the generations to come.
About the author
Senior Advisor for AARP’s Office of International Affairs, Ms. Erica Dhar is the organization’s chief representative at the United Nations, and the Council on Foreign Relations. She represents AARP as a member of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People. Ms. Dhar conducts research and analysis on global aging, including caregiving focused on transnational caregiving. Ms. Dhar served eighteen years in the corporate sector where she worked for Chase Manhattan Bank and the Lifetime Cable Channel.
She holds a Master’s Degree from Fairfield University in Corporate Political Communication, and a Master’s Degree from NYU in Non Profit Management focused on Global Aging and a Bachelor’s Honors Degree from Delhi University, New Delhi, India.