GCSPF Newsletter #24 – June 2019

e-GCSPF # 24 - June 2019

Monitor new IMF commitments in your country


On June 14, 2019 the International Monetary Fund launched a new policy on the IMF and social spending two years after a critical assessment by its Independent Evaluation Office of the impact of IMF on social protection in member countries. The Managing Director of IMF, Christine Lagarde, launched the new policy in a speech during the International Labor Organization’s centenary conference in Geneva. This step can be good opportunity for advocates of social protection floors, a key element of the social spending that IMF now says it seeks to see countries provide in “ways that are adequate, yet also efficient and financed sustainably” (the policy paper and staff background papers are posted on the IMF web page). However, the degree to which decisions by Management and the Executive Board get implemented depend on how IMF now adapts its operations in individual countries. That is something in which GCSPF has a profound interest. Read more


Egypt Social Progress Indicators Reveal How Austerity Feeds Gross Inequalities


IMF-mandated austerity policies in Egypt are amplifying already severe inequalities and undermining the rights to health, education, housing and decent work for millions of Egyptians. These are the findings of the Egypt Social Progress Indicators (ESPI) project that has published the first independent, systematic review of socioeconomic development in Egypt.
The indicators point toward the erosion of the economic and social rights of the majority of Egyptians. They also show that, despite the official narrative of macroeconomic success encouraged by the government, the IMF and other international organizations, Egypt is not on track to achieve equitable and sustainable development by 2030.
The report finds that ordinary people are experiencing significant rights deprivations pertaining to decent work, quality accessible healthcare and education, adequate housing, economic empowerment and secure livelihoods. Reed more


The New Strategic Agenda is timid but not hopeless


The New Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 approved last 20 June, by the European Council fails to put social justice first and keeps the defence-based approach to borders and thus migration.
The protection of citizens, the top priority for the next five years, is outlined by the Council in the same way that you would expect to see it in any of the far-right parties’ manifestos. It is interpreted primarily as the defence of the integrity of the territory and praises the militarisation of borders. The social agenda is finally included among the priorities to be pursued, but it is described as a premise for enhancing the competitiveness of the single market rather than an urgent reaction to overcome the existential social and societal crisis.
However, a few improvements to the leaked draft of the document have been made. Although the underlying vision is still driven by the obsession with economic growth, the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights is finally at least mentioned and attention to social issues is considered essential. Read more


Malaysia: We want absolute right for every worker, even migrants, to join a union


The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has denied the government’s accusation that it was against the ratification of the International Labour Organisation Convention 87 (C87).
Describing the human resources ministry as “stooping very low,” MTUC secretary-general J Solomon said the foundation of the United Nations convention was to give the absolute right to each and every worker to join a union, irrespective of whether he was a local or a migrant worker. Read more



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Civil Society Call for a Global Fund for Social Protection

Civil society organizations and trade unions unite to call for a Global Fund for Social Protection to protect the most vulnerable during COVID-19 and beyond.

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Civil society organizations and trade unions call governments and international financial institutions to make a commitment to create social security systems that enable everyone to realize their rights. Governments and financial institutions should end policies that have been failing millions of people.
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The programme Improving Synergies Between Social Protection and Public Finance Management provided medium-term support to multiple countries aiming to strengthen their social protection systems at a national level and ensure sustainable financing. The programme aimed to support countries in their efforts towards achieving universal social protection coverage.

This initiative was implemented jointly by the ILO, Unicef, and the GCSPF.

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