The International Social Security Association (ISSA) today celebrates its 94th anniversary. Since its beginning in 1927 in Brussels, the ISSA has grown from 17 organizations in Europe to a global association present in 159 countries with over 300 member institutions.
The history of the ISSA has been marked by innovation and adaptation to the growing needs of social security institutions. The Association expanded by allowing state-administered schemes to join, the creation of technical committees, regional programmes, new methods of communication and the Centre for Excellence. These and many other developments were created in close consultation with the ISSA membership to ensure their needs were met and the Association delivers a vibrant and valuable community.
Since his election in 2018, the Secretary General Marcelo Caetano has stated the ISSA will ‘be active in developing relevant knowledge, practical services, access to key international fora and networking opportunities’.
The global pandemic was seen as a significant opportunity for innovation by the ISSA. In response to the crisis, the ISSA created the COVID-19 Monitor, which provided information on how social security institutions were contributing to mitigating the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. The Association launched a series of almost 100 webinars on key issues of the crisis as well as social security in general.
The next innovation will start on the 5 October with the launch of the Virtual Social Security Forum for Africa – the first major virtual event to be held by the Association. The event will involve over 90 speakers from the region as well as a dedicated online platform that will facilitate networking and interaction.
Going forward from this anniversary the ISSA is committed to serving its members, promoting social security globally and making Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (recognizing that "Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security") a reality.