Statement of the GCSPF to the 2nd ILO Development Partners Meeting

The Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) presented a statement in the opening session of the 2nd ILO Development Partners Meeting, ILO Global Flagship Programme on Social Protection Floors, that was held in Geneva last 25 October 2017.

Download here the pdf version of the Statement.

Statement of the GCSPF to the 2nd ILO Development Partners Meeting
ILO Global Flagship Programme on Social Protection Floors
Geneva, 25 OCTOBER 2017

Honourable Chair,

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the Global Coalition on Social Protection Floors (GCSPF), I would like to thank you for giving us the floor in this high level segment of the 2nd ILO Development Partners Meeting.

Following the negotiations and the adoption of Recommendation 202 in 2012, a number of civil society organisations decided to establish a coalition to rally support for social protection floors. Today, the GCSPF brings together over 90 different civil society organisations, trade unions and think tanks from all continents, all committed to the realisation of universal social protection.

Our key objective: ensure that the realisation of social protection floors remains high on the political agenda, at international, regional and national level. Apart from our advocacy efforts, we build capacity in our respective networks about SPF’s. Each organisation has expertise in the field of social protection, be it in terms of informing, organising and empowering communities and vulnerable groups, service delivery, research work, monitoring and advocacy. There is, as a result, quite a bit of know-how within the coalition, and we are very keen, not only to share it with you but more so to put it to good use in the development, implementation and monitoring of SPF’s, both in their horizontal and vertical dimension, in countries around the world.

Since the 1st ILO Development Partners Meeting, the GCSPF has organised a number of side events, in close collaboration with governments and UN organisations, advocating for SPF’s as critical components of sustainable development. To name only a few, we would refer to:

  • A side event on “Financing SPF’s throughout economic cycles” during the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development, May 2017
  • A side event on “End poverty and reduce inequality” during the UN High Level Political Forum, July 2017.

We have delivered a statement to the UN Commission for Social Development in February 2017 requesting delegates to consider the elaboration of an ECOSOC Resolution on social protection systems, including floors as a necessary step towards universal and comprehensive social protection for all. We recalled that social protection this has been firmly recognised in the Agenda 2030, with social protection referenced under SDG 1, 3, 5, 8 and 10.

Another statement was delivered only a week ago to the IMF, calling for the development of a rights-based universal social protection strategy and closer coordination of their work in this field with the ILO.

Finally, we have participated in the networking meeting of tripartite and development partners from West and Central Africa held in Dakar, Senegal in May 2017, focusing on implementing social protection floors. This networking meeting was very useful, as it brought together government representatives, social partners and other relevant stakeholders. We firmly believe that this kind of exercise is necessary and crucial, especially at the national level. Because we all want to move from talking to walking. We want to act and see impacts.

Firstly, we need, as development partners, to keep on investing in bringing these different stakeholders together, country by country, so that they can agree on their roadmap to develop, implement and monitor their SPF, tailored to the national context. Meaningful participatory engagement of all including civil society and people who are entitled to social protection floor coverage is crucial in our efforts. They must be at the table to insist on the necessity of a rights-based approach and to showcase their innovative (community-based) initiatives in the field of social protection. Secondly, once we move to implementing the roadmap, we need to have a clear division of tasks with each of the stakeholders assuming the responsibilities allocated to them. Obviously, we will also have to talk about financing social protection systems. There is a national and an international responsibility to guarantee social protection for all. We call on you to give high priority to sustainable and equitable financing for social protection.

As civil society organisations, we acknowledge our role in building further capacity in our respective networks so that they can take up their responsibilities, in terms of service delivery, research work, monitoring and advocacy, as well as informing, organising and empowering communities, with special attention paid to vulnerable groups. We also continue to invest in supporting national coalitions or networks composed of trade unions and other civil society organisations so that they can interact with decision makers at all levels. It is the role of international organisations, national governments and bilateral cooperation agencies to reach out and effectively involve local civil society in their efforts to build social protection floors. We take this opportunity to affirm our commitment to such a process, and we propose that a few countries could be identified where we could bring our collective strengths together, using multi-stakeholder strategies for the development, implementation and monitoring of social protection floors. We could discuss this idea further with all of the coalition in January 2018.

Together we can transform this world, that is not a burden, it is a privilege. As GCSPF we are ready to seize that opportunity and to ensure that no one will be left behind. We hope we can count on all of you to embark on this journey together.

Thank you very much for your attention.