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VIEW FROM THE SECRETARY-GENERAL


neighbours and passers-by in traditional societies. One, however, may challenge that traditional practice for the elderly is not sustainable because, as Asian and African societies continue to rapidly urbanize, they are creating smaller spaces for families, thus limiting the opportunities for family cohesion. In my view, and learning from the situation of the elderly in industrialized countries, I wish to suggest that policy makers in young Commonwealth countries should consider hybrid policies, in which the structures of residential houses for the elderly are located in bigger village-type family residential premises, to enable easy community support and frequent interaction between


the young and the old. This calls for a different urban planning system, the new approach forcing urban planners to reserve sufficient space for the young and the elderly at community level. Indeed, if this approach was to be opposed as inappropriate, the counter-argument would be that its prospects outweigh the existing and potential tendency to segregate the elderly in our societies. I cannot, therefore, over-emphasize the observation made by the delegates to the 59th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference that: “Parliamentarians should foster a society where seniors can age in place within their homes and the community”. Another opportunity for the policy makers for the elderly in developing


The Secretary-General’s


Pictured with Mr Ronald Nobbs, MP, from Norfolk Island, left.


Sitting alongside the outgoing CWP Chairperson, Hon. Alix Boyd Knights, MHA, (left) at the CWP Steering Committee meeting in Johannesburg.


Speaking with the Secretary-General of the Parliamentarians for Global Action, Mrs Shazia Z. Rafi, (right).


172 | The Parliamentarian | 2013: Issue Three


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