Member institutions from 32 countries will now have the additional support of the new ISSA Focal Point for French-speaking countries. The Focal Point is hosted by the CIFM-ISSA, a coordinating body for member institutions of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) in France.
The ISSA Focal Points and Liaison Offices play an important role in promoting the Association’s products and services and facilitating closer collaboration between member institutions within a particular region and/or language community. The new Focal Point for French-speaking countries was opened during a launch ceremony on 24 March, attended by representatives from French-speaking ISSA member institutions across four continents.
“It is with great pleasure we can open this new focal point, with the aim of creating networks and synergies among French-speaking social security institutions, that can lead to sustainable social protection for all”, said Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano, ISSA Secretary General.
The new focal point aims to strengthen cooperation between French-speaking ISSA member institutions. Fabrice Gombert, President of the National Sickness Insurance Fund (Caisse nationale de l'assurance maladie – CNAM) noted how the idea of a French-speaking focal point was born during the World Social Security Forum in Brussels, Belgium in 2019. He emphasised how the ISSA’s webinars in French have strengthened member institutions access to valuable technical content since 2020. “The ISSA is creating an important space for dialogue and exchanges among French-speaking social security institutions”, he remarked.
The focal point will also work to strengthen the use of French as a working language within the ISSA. In addition, it will facilitate technical cooperation and capacity-building and work towards promoting social security in the context of the activities of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF). In his speech during the launch ceremony, Georges Nakseu-Nguefang from the OIF strongly supported the initiative, “We praise the establishment of this new structure and will make ourselves available to contribute to the success of your mission.”
Following the launch ceremony, a round-table was organized on the topic of Challenges in social security in the French-speaking world. Representatives from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, France and Lebanon contributed to this round-table, demonstrating the richness of the francophone community.