Rights of older persons, population issues key focus in Vietnam hinh anh 1At the signing ceremony (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - A new partnership between the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam and the Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI) was signed on August 25.

The UNFPA and MRI representatives committed to working closely together in joining hands with the Government of Vietnam and the international community to effectively address population ageing and other emerging population issues in the country.

Population ageing is a global phenomenon. Between 2015 and 2050, it is estimated that the number of older persons aged 65 and above worldwide is set to increase from 703 million to about 1.5 billion, accounting for 15.5% of the world's total population.

Vietnam has officially entered the "ageing phase" since 2011 and is projected to become an "aged" society by 2036. Currently, the number of older persons (60 years or over) is 12.6 million, 12.8% of the total population. It is expected to increase to 22 million by 2038, accounting for 20% of the total population. Vietnam is one of the most rapidly ageing countries in the world.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Kenji Yabuta, MRI President, said: "In Japan, the population has been ageing rapidly since the 1980s, and the proportion of the elderly out of the total population is now the highest in the world at over 28%. We are very pleased to sign the MOU with UNFPA in Vietnam and feel that UNFPA is truly acting as a bridge between Japan and Vietnam".

Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA representative in Vietnam, said: "We'll be working closely to promote the rights and dignity of older people by improving health and social care services and creating an enabling environment for the elderly.

"Following the signing event today, the plan is for both UNFPA and MRI to explore the best models for Vietnam in providing for older persons and preparing young generations for a future in which all ages are celebrated, and no one is left behind."

This new partnership will focus on the issues of ageing and other population matters, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, health care for young people, and gender equality.

Key activities include conducting joint research and communications; consulting and supporting project execution, and organising events for public sharing of research findings; developing personnel training and exchange programmes; promoting public-private partnerships in the light of population ageing and emerging population trends; and expanding a network of Vietnamese and Japanese entities to encourage the development of care and support for the elderly./.