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17 Sep 2013

International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities

“This event is a wonderful demonstration of our interest in adapting our communities to the realities of population aging both here and elsewhere,” said Minister Hébert at the conference opening. (photo Gilles Fréchette)

The 2nd International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities (AFCs) was held in Québec City from September 9 to 11. This year’s theme was “Living and aging together in our community.” About 700 people from some forty countries and nearly 200 speakers attended the conference.

During the opening session, the Minister of Health and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Seniors, Réjean Hébert, highlighted the approach Québec City has taken to enable seniors to stay active in their communities as they age. He also noted that over half of Québec’s municipalities – including all major cities – are taking this approach or have completed such initiatives.

Minister Hébert met with Dr. John Beard, Director of the Department of Ageing and Life Course at the World Health Organization (WHO). Their discussions focused on Québec’s participation in the World Health Assembly (the WHO’s decision-making body), the WHO’s priorities and the challenges that lie ahead. They also explored potential opportunities for collaboration.

Collaboration with China and Mexico

Minister Hébert likewise had an opportunity to meet with the Vice President of the China National Committee on Ageing, Caiwei Xiao. It should be noted that health-related collaboration between Québec and China is relatively recent. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Shandong in 2008.

Since then, several joint projects have taken shape, particularly in nanotechnology between McGill University and Shandong Provincial Hospital and in radiation oncology between the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) and Qilu Hospital in Jinan.

In addition, a meeting took place between the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of the Secrétariat aux aînés (secretariat for seniors), Catherine Ferembach, and the Secretary of Social Development of the Federal District of Mexico City, Rosa Velázquez, to explore avenues for collaboration in health and social services.

The ADM pointed out that the Québec Government Office in Mexico City has maintained economic, cultural and educational relations with Mexico for over thirty years.

Minister Réjean Hébert with the Vice President of the China National Committee on Ageing, Caiwei Xiao. (photo Gilles Fréchette)

The Secretary of Social Development, Federal District of Mexico City, Rosa Velázquez, and the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Secrétariat aux aînés, Catherine Ferembach. (photo MRIFCE)

International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities 2013
Québec-China collaboration in science and technology
Québec-Mexico multisectoral collaboration
World Health Organization

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