Statement of the Global Partnership on Universal Social Protection

Statement of the GCSPF for the side event of the Global Partnership on Universal Social Protection (USP2030)
New York, 31 January 2018

Thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute to this important discussion on behalf of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors.

The Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors is a network of over 90 civil society organizations, trade unions and think tanks from all continents – all committed to support the implementation of ILO Recommendation 202 on national floors of social protection. We advocate for the implementation of universal and human rights-based social protection floors and systems for all.

Our purposes are twofold:

  • to keep social protection floors high on the international agenda; and
  • to continuously promote implementation at the national level, seeking higher levels of coverage.

To this end we are involved in international fora, such as the UN High-Level Political Forum, the UN Commission for Social Development and the Human Rights Council. At the same time, our members are active in national dialogues on social protection in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe.

The Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) welcomes this initiative promoting  a strong Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection. We are convinced that social protection is a key instrument for the successful implementation of Agenda 2030, especially if we are serious about eradicating poverty and reducing inequality. We want to see the social dimensions of development strengthened and will be very happy to contribute to that goal of the Global Partnership.

We see it as an important step that two strong global players – World Bank and ILO – committed to this joint initiative and agreed to focus on a universal approach seeking to overcome exclusion and fragmentation of programs, ensuring social protection systems that leave no one behind and contribute to cohesive societies. As Global Coalition, we have to insist of course on the importance of the rights-based approach in this endeavor.

We would like to see a Global Partnership with broad participation of all countries around the world, independent of their development stage, inclusive of countries that already offer comprehensive social protection to their population and countries launching their journey towards social protection floors for all. We hope for a governance structure for “USP 2030” that gives equal voice to everyone at the table.

We – of course – would also like to see the effective participation of civil society and trade unions within the Global Partnership and the global campaign, as well as within every national dialogue on social protection. We hope that USP2030 could be another impetus for strengthened coordination efforts among all relevant stakeholders at national level to work towards universal social protection systems.

We heard today here in the discussion, and we also know from the work of our members in many countries, that capacity building, access to knowledge exchange and technical advice are a felt need. Therefore we would like to see knowledge exchange and joint learning at the core of the Global Partnership.

And last but not least, we would like to talk about financing. Countries need to finance their social protection systems in a sustainable way. There are good country examples showing successful and innovative ways to create the necessary fiscal space, while also taking care of the distributional impact of financing choices. But – if we talk about Global Partnership we also have to talk about the international responsibility to support countries to create and protect the fiscal space for social protection floors in good times and in times of crises. Let me mention only two examples:

  • the necessity for international regulations to reduce tax evasion by international players, but also to avoid excessive tax competition; and
  • the urgency to protect the budget for social protection floors in times of crises – which would include a standstill of debt servicing as well an international financing mechanism.

If I would try to summarize what I have heard here today, at the annual meeting of the GCSPF and at the CSocD, I would say there is a momentum for a global campaign for USP 2030. We would hope that there is also a pledge for financing this initiative in order to use this window of opportunity.

Thank you very much!

Nicola Wiebe

Download the pdf version of the Statement here.
Download here the flyer of the event and here the agenda. See here further information about this side event.