100th Session of the International Labour Conference
An ISSA Statement on the ILO Strategic Objective of Social Protection (Social Security) was presented by the ISSA President Errol Frank Stoové on 3 June as a contribution to the discussion on the strategic objective of social protection (social security) at the 100th Session of the ILC, which gathers over 3,000 delegates from the 183 ILO member States.
A central focus is being given to the topic of social protection and social security at this year's ILC, which will consider possible new international instruments to bolster the extension of social security coverage, including proposals for a Social Protection Floor which have been developed by the ILO in recent years.
Addressing the ILC Committee for the Recurrent Discussion on Social Protection, the ISSA President recognized the considerable achievements of the ILO in social security during the last decade, which, he said, are evidence of the commitment of the Organization to the values underpinning social protection and to the extension of social security coverage. Representatives of the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the IMF and UNICEF also contributed to the discussion.
Mr Stoové underlined that these efforts have notably resulted in the preparation of new conceptual approaches and he welcomed the forging of an international alliance to support the Social Protection Floor, which had contributed to a broad consensus for social security and provided an "historic window of opportunity" for the ILC delegates. He pointed to the remarkable progress towards full coverage in recent years, led notably by governments in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russian Federation, India, People's Republic of China and South Africa).
"The ISSA shares the recognition of the need for an international instrument that would promote horizontal coverage extension strategies and give related guidance to policy-makers and administrators," Mr Stoové stated.
Key priorities for social security administrations to extend coverage
The ISSA Statement identified a number of key priorities for social security administrations in strategies to extend social security coverage, and referred to the ISSA Strategy on the extension of coverage which was launched in 2010. The Statement emphasizes that the provision of basic "horizontal" social protection guarantees for the whole population must be accompanied by the "vertical" strengthening of higher levels of income security and health protection through contributory coverage.
Good governance and efficient management were keys to effective administration of social protection schemes and to improved contribution collection and compliance, Mr Stoové said, and he pointed to the recent work of the ISSA in developing practical guidelines for good governance, and to the role of innovation, risk management and change management in building high performance.
Responding to Mr Stoové's contribution, the Chairperson of the Committee, Jean Feyder, Ambassador of Luxembourg to the United Nations, emphasized the importance of the ISSA's experience in ensuring the transfer of administrative expertise from countries with established systems of social security to countries in the process of building universal systems.
The ISSA President concluded with a reaffirmation of the long-standing partnership of the ISSA with the ILO and reiterated the ISSA's support for promoting the existing ILO Conventions and Recommendations, and to building national social security capacities, in particular through improving management and administration, and by facilitating technical advice and knowledge transfer.