ISSA partners high-level BRICS event in China
With the attendance of ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the 2017 BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meeting was held on the 26-27 July in Chongqing, China.
The meeting provided the BRICS countries’ Labour and Employment Ministers a platform to present a common position on the role of governance in the future of work. Importantly, an action plan for poverty alleviation and reduction through skills enhancement was adopted.
Further, it was agreed to establish a Network of Labour Research Institutes and a proposal for a Social Security Cooperation Framework was endorsed.
The ISSA, who together with the ILO, is the main international partner of this high-level political platform, contributed on the invitation of the Chinese Presidency with regard to two important initiatives.
First, the ISSA should lead the preparation of the Social Security Cooperation Framework, which represents the first collaborative structure for knowledge sharing between BRICS countries in this critical area. Significantly, the ISSA, together with the International Labour Office, will host the Secretariat of this novel initiative.
Second, the ISSA presented new survey findings reporting on the sustainability challenges facing the BRICS countries’ social security systems. The survey results identified the three most common challenges that confront BRICS social security administrations: coverage extension, higher public expectations and the technological transition. The survey demonstrated that BRICS countries have already implemented, or are planning to implement, a number of innovative responses to these challenges.
The report was received with great interest and ministers stressed the importance of the exchange of good practices to strengthen the sustainability of social security systems at times of rapid technological, social and economic change.
The ISSA Secretary General Hans-Horst Konkolewsky commented “The historic decision to establish a Social Security Cooperation Framework bears witness to the importance that the BRICS Ministers of Labour and Employment attach to knowledge sharing and to joint activities to secure universal and sustainable social security. I am very pleased about the important role the ISSA has played in the groundwork that will now permit the preparation of the Framework document. As co-host of the Secretariat, this will add a new dimension to the ISSA’s engagement, which since 2011 has facilitated greater cooperation between social security organizations in the BRICS countries”.