In 2014, with support from the European Union and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, the three-day conference titled “Older People in Ageing Societies: Burden or Resource?” was held at the Empress Convention Centre in the beautiful city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. We welcomed more than 200 participants from 29 Asia and Pacific countries, representing civil society, government agencies, academia and international bodies, donors and business.

This Conference provided us with a unique opportunity to discuss the problems and possibilities that the large and rapid demographic transition presents to our region.

The message of the Conference was “Unlocking potential in later life” and it encapsulates our vision for the 21st century. By stepping away from the common and simplistic perception of older people as a burden, we may find innovative strategies, policies and programmes to engage older people in economic, social and environmental development. And in doing so, we also alter the way societies perceive themselves.


The Regional Conference agenda was designed to promote a balanced view, not looking at the next two or three years or even ten years, but rather with the perspective of the next generations.

The Regional Conference received attention from many sectors.  Proceedings of the conference were disseminated on the web and through social media. Here is a summary of the Conference in the news. Each of the links will take you to our In the news page.

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