The United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030) is a global collaboration, aligned with the last ten years of the Sustainable Development Goals, that brings together governments, civil society, international agencies, professionals, academia, the media, and the private sector to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live. Populations around the world are ageing at a faster pace than in the past and this demographic transition will have an impact on almost all aspects of society. Already, there are more than 1 billion people aged 60 years or older, with most living in low- and middle-income countries. Many do not have access to even the basic resources necessary for a life of meaning and of dignity. Many others confront multiple barriers that prevent their full participation in society. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the seriousness of existing gaps in policies, systems and services. A decade of concerted global action on healthy ageing is urgently needed to ensure that older people can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.