Invitation: Side event at HLPF: “Decade of Action to achieve Universal Social Protection by 2030”

The virtual side event “Decade of Action to achieve Universal Social Protection by 2030” will take place in the framework of the High-level Political Forum.

Date: Monday 12th July 2021, Time: 7:30 – 9am New York, EDT

Please register here:

The event will be in English. Live Spanish and French translation will be offered.

The virtual side event is co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations; Ministry of National Development Planning, Indonesia; Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection - USP2030; Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors; Global Call to Action Against Poverty; International Labour Organization; The World Bank; International Network for Social Protection Rights (INSP!R West-Africa); United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD); Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung; Protestant Agency for Diakonie und Development; Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd; Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (CIPPEC).

Download the concept note and the invitation (flyer). The speakers bios are here.


Moderator: Dr. Katja Hujo, Senior Research Coordinator, Transformative Social Policy Programme, UNRISD

Session 1: The Contribution of Universal Social Protection to Agenda 2030

Q&A / Discussion

Session 2: Partnership for Joint Action

Q&A / Discussion

Wrap up and Conclusion: Towards universal social protection by 2030


Social protection is essential to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Social protection is not only a universal human right, investing in social protection also brings high social and economic returns. However, half the world’s population currently does not have access to any social protection, with coverage remaining particularly limited in most low-income countries. Those who tend to lack access to essential services and basic income guarantees, according to ILO Recommendation 202 on Social Protection Floors, include workers in the informal economy, marginalized children, people with disabilities, older women and men, refugees and migrants, and homeless persons.

We are entering the decade of action to achieve Agenda 2030 under extremely difficult circumstances. Global commitment to SDG 1 “to achieve substantial (social protection) coverage of the poor and the vulnerable by 2030” (Target 1.3) has become the highest priority to end poverty in all its forms, everywhere. Without concomitant commitment to joint action SDG 1 target 1.3 will fail.

The HLPF 2021 reviews global and national progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It also considers the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has already exposed the depth and breadth of social and economic inequalities and is set to push up to 150 million people into extreme poverty1, and 150 million children into multidimensional poverty2. Governments have responded to Covid-19 by introducing or scaling up social protection measures to ameliorate the impact of job losses, impoverishment and the increase of inequalities in their countries. Countries with established social protection systems have shown themselves to be in a much better position to cope with the social and economic fallout of Covid-19, to respond faster, more effectively and more efficiently than countries who have had to introduce new schemes on an ad hoc emergency basis.

Covid-19 has focussed minds on the importance of social protection guarantees to health and income, enabling access to education, food and housing. The positive impact of social protection on long-term poverty and inequality has been demonstrated. Many countries are realizing the need for and the long-term benefits of universal, comprehensive and adequate social protection, based on sustainable and equitable financing, tripartite administration and anchored in law.

We invite you to a 90-minute side event at the HLPF 2021 with speakers from governments, the United Nations, the World Bank and civil society. We will discuss why universal social protection is critical to the success of the 2030 Agenda, how social protection can prevent long-term poverty traps as a result of the ongoing crisis, how it will underpin resilient recovery and contribute to future crisis preparedness and how it will reduce inequalities. The event will explore the role of national social dialogue and the global partnership for universal social protection and propose a global mechanism to support countries to create comprehensive systems, to collect necessary data and to mobilize finance to ensure universal coverage of the social protection floor.

Conclusions and recommendations will feed into the ongoing work of the High-level Political Forum 2021 and the work of the sponsoring partners.


The theme of the High-level Political Forum 2021 is "Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development".

Each HLPF considers the integrated, indivisible and interlinked nature of the Sustainable Development Goals. Those under specific review in 2021 are Goal 1; no poverty, Goal 2; zero hunger, Goal 3; good health and well-being, Goal 8; decent work and economic growth, Goal 10; reduced inequalities, Goal 12; responsible consumption and production, Goal 13: climate action, Goal 16; peace, justice and strong institutions, Goal 17; partnerships and data.

The meeting of the HLPF in 2021 will be held from Tuesday, 6 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. This includes the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 13 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021.


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.

Social Security for All

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.

SP&PFM Programme

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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