INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE

ISSA Secretary General: Social security plays an increasingly important role in enabling societies to manage the impact of environmental risks

Representatives of the 187 member states of the ILO are present at the 106th International Labour Conference

The ISSA has expressed its strong support for renewed efforts by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to contribute to the fight against climate change, at an intervention during the International Labour Conference (ILC).

Addressing the ILC plenary on 7 June, ISSA Secretary General Hans-Horst Konkolewsky welcomed the new initiative of the ILO to stress the link between environmental sustainability and decent work, and the co-dependency between work related activities and the environment.

The ILO report, Work in a changing climate: the Green Initiative, is a balanced assessment of what the fight against climate change means for the world of work and how the ILO can contribute to the transition to environmental sustainability that will both serve decent work for all and the protection of the planet we live on.

“Social security is a key component of decent work, and plays an increasingly important role in enabling societies to face and manage the impact of environmental risks,” Secretary General Konkolewsky stated.

“In fact, in a landmark report published last year, the ISSA highlighted this enhanced role for social security in managing shocks and extreme events as one of the 10 most important global challenges for social security,” Konkolewsky noted.

These 10 challenges were identified and based on the input of 280 social security institutions around the world and debated at the ISSA-s World Social Security Forum 2016 in November in Panama, and are closely related to the key issues discussed at this year’s ILC.

“In particular, the impact of the transformations in the world of work on social security, brought about by the digital economy, is at the centre of our attention,” Mr Konkolewsky said.

The Secretary General underscored the role of efficient social security administration to find innovative solutions to confront the challenges of the digital revolution and adapt the existing schemes to future needs. ISSA member institutions are demonstrating innovative approaches and applying the smart use of technology. To capture these experiences the ISSA will launch an Observatory on Social Security and the Digital Economy, which will be a key knowledge source and an important contribution by the ISSA to the global discussions.

The ISSA, founded under the auspices of the ILO in 1927, this year celebrates its 90th anniversary. Since its inception the ILO and the ISSA have collaborated closely to pursue shared values and the goals of social security and safe working conditions for all.

The annual International Labour Conference brings together delegations from 187 member States of the ILO, and sets the international labour standards and the broad policies of the ILO. Often called an international parliament of labour, the Conference is also a forum for discussion of key global social and labour questions.