The Aging Population: Economic Growth and Global Competitiveness

Old and young audience members listen as President Barack Obama speaks at the Town Hall Education Arts and Recreation Campus (THEARC) theater in Washington, June 21, 2010. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Robert D. Hormats serves as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.

On Tuesday, February 14, the Council on Foreign Relations is holding a meeting on the “The U.S. Aging Population as an Economic Growth Driver for Global Competitiveness.” The event is timely. Standard & Poor’s reports that “No other force is likely to shape the future of national economic health, public finances and policy-making as the irreversible rate at which the world”s population is aging.”

Hence, it’s vital that we create opportunities to enable older persons to contribute to their economies and communities in increasingly effective and productive ways. This will require new policies and innovations that promote healthy aging, including advances in medicine, continued learning, and cultural norms regarding aging. As population aging is elevated to the global agenda, the countries that capitalize on the increasing percentage of older adults, and are able to increasingly… more »

Protecting and Assisting the World’s Most Vulnerable Populations
Water center in Dolo Kobe, Ethiopia, 2011 [State Department photo]

About the Author: David M. Robinson serves as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.

With an estimated 40 million displaced people worldwide, up to 12 million who do not have citizenship to any country, and some 10.5 million refugees around the globe, the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) assists persecuted and uprooted people through our support to international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and by advocating for their protection through humanitarian diplomacy. From the Arab Awakening to the crisis in the Horn of Africa, global political upheaval and conflict have presented many humanitarian challenges, and as 2012 begins, I’d like to take a moment to share a few examples of the work we did last year.

Refugee Admissions: The United States welcomed more than 56,000 refugees… more

Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
Displaced people gather on the deck of the S.S. Ryndam on arrival in Hoboken, NJ Dec. 19, 1951. [AP]

About the Author: Eric Schwartz serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.

This year the world commemorates the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. One hundred and forty seven nations have signed this agreement and/or the subsequent 1967 Protocol that followed, which stand for the basic principle that those fleeing persecution must be provided refuge and protection. As part of our effort to commemorate the 60th anniversary, we invited former refugees who work for the Department of State to share their stories with us. Not knowing what to expect, we were pleasantly surprised when over 20 individuals told us they wanted to tell their deeply moving resettlement stories. You can read three of these stories in the June issue of State Magazine, and many more in a series of DipNote blogs that we will be publishing in the coming weeks as we… more »

Coordinating U.S. Government Assistance to Migrants Fleeing Libya
UNHCR tent camp for Libyan refugees in the Remada, Tunisia, May 8, 2011. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Bryan Schaaf serves as a Program Officer in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

The conflict in Libya continues to cause both significant internal displacement as well as outflows of refugees and third country nationals into Tunisia, Egypt, and other neighboring countries. Given the scale of humanitarian need, a coordinated U.S. government humanitarian response remains critical. In early March, colleagues from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and I were deployed as members of what became the Tunisia Disaster Assessment Response Team (DART). This was the first time I had served on a DART and I was impressed both by the speed with which we were deployed as well as the skills and expertise of my OFDA team-mates.

Each team member had distinct responsibilities. One of my roles… more »