Invitation side event “Advocating Universal Social Protection Floors for Asian Countries”

The official virtual Side Event “Advocating Universal Social Protection (USP) Floors for Asian Countries” will be held on February 21, 2024 (Wednesday), from 16.30 – 17.45 Bangkok time (GMT+7).

The 11th Asia Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APFSD) will be organized from 20-23 February under the theme: “Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and eradicating poverty in times of multiple crises: The effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions in Asia and the Pacific” at the United Nations Conference Center (UNCC) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Globally, the number of the extreme poor stands at 860 million. Over 820 million people goes hungry every day.

SDG 1.3 and other SDGs and targets mention social protection, but the SDG framework itself is being derailed as a consequence lack of commitment on the part of governments.

In Asia and pacific 930 million workers out of a total of the 1.3 billion informal economy workers (68%) are in vulnerable sectors. Female workers experience gender-based discrimination, receiving less pay than men and spending more time on unpaid care work.

The impact of climate change becomes more and more visible. More and more people are affected by natural disasters from Pakistan over Bangladesh to the Philippines. The people have also had to contend with inflation on food and energy. International debt among some low- and middle-income countries are limiting their investment in social protection. At the country level there are some social protection mechanisms covering the people of various ages, but even where there is good coverage, there are implementation gaps.

The side event will discuss the scope of Universal Social Protection Floors to address poverty, hunger, inequality and adapt to climate change.

This session is organized by the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) and co-organized by Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (India); NGO Federation of Nepal (Nepal); Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement - PRRM (Philippines); Noakhali Rural Development Society (Bangladesh); Sri Lanka United Nations Friendship Organisation (Sri Lanka); Pakistan Development Alliance (Pakistan); Coordination Committee of Cambodia (Cambodia); Sanayee Development Organisation (Afghanistan); ONE Singapore (Singapore); Africa Japan Forum (Japan); Asia Dalit Rights Forum; Global Forum on DWD and the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF).

Link to register in the Virtual Side Event: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYvcO-gqjIrGNZXd7-g4s6DIQWJmLAdbc6g

Download the concept note here.

The side event “The transformative potential of expanding the coverage of child benefits to eliminate child poverty” will be held on February 14, 2024 at 1:15 pm to 2:30 pm EST at Conference Room 11, UNHQ, New York. The event will be held during the 62nd Session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD62).

Child poverty is one of the world’s greatest challenges to the realisation of the SDGs and children’s rights, including the right to survival, learning and protection. In 2022, 330 million children lived in extreme poverty, with children comprising more than half of the world’s 1.1 billion people experiencing multidimensional poverty. 

Through the SDGs, world leaders committed to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, including by putting in place social protection floors (SPFs) by 2030 and guaranteeing access to quality essential health care for all and basic income security for children, persons with disabilities, older persons and the unemployed.

While governments have made some progress in building inclusive social protection systems, children are frequently left the furthest behind. For instance, in 2021, more than 73 percent of girls and boys worldwide did not receive any child or family cash benefits at all, leaving them particularly vulnerable and at risk to the irreversible and long-lasting impacts of poverty, stunting and wasting, inadequate access to health and education services on human capability development.

To promote awareness and use of Universal Child Benefits (UCBs) as an effective means to reduce child poverty and support child development, the International Labour Organization (ILO), Save the Children and UNICEF will launch a new tool, the Global Child Benefits Tracker during the CSocD62 in New York. As indicated by the recent report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in his report to the Human Rights Council, UCBs are one of the most inclusive, effective and fairest approaches to reach those furthest behind. 

The aim of this tool is to provide a dedicated knowledge management platform to foster progressive and evidence-based dialogue, drawing on best practice, on the need for and feasibility of greater investment in child-sensitive social protection.

Speakers and Panelists

Opening Remarks:
Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, Special Representative to the United Nations and Director of the ILO Office in New York

Keynote Speaker:

Philip Alston, former UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights

Moderated Discussion

This event is organised by Save the Children International, UNICEF and ILO and co-sponsored by the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF), the Permanent Mission of Luxembourg and USP2030.     

Link to participate online:
https://unvc.webex.com/unvc/j.php?MTID=m2a0c225f02eac227c16428d745da85be
Webinar number: 2343 658 0587
Webinar password: CSocD62_14Feb#24

Download the concept note here. Further information is available here.

The video of the event "Building a New Eco-social Contract and Advancing Social Security in Times of Debt and Austerity" is now online. The event took place on Friday, October 13, 2023 during the Civil Society Policy Forum of the WBG-IMF Annual Meetings 2023 held in Marrakech, Morocco.

Recent research analyzing IMF programs show that, far from “mitigating” austerity measures, IMF policies and social spending floors fail to address negative social impacts. The panel explored how the World Bank and IMF could build a human rights-based economy with better developmental outcomes.

The event was moderated by Shahir Ishak (Senior Social Protection Specialist, Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum).

And the speakers were Sarah Saadoun (Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch), Allana Kembabazi (Program Manager, Initiative for Social and Economic Rights), Isabel Ortiz (Director of the Global Social Justice, Initiative for Policy Dialogue) and Rodrigo Cerda (Division Chief, IMF), the World Bank Group (WBG) declined the invitation to participate in the event.

The event was organized by Act church of Sweden, ActionAid international, AWC, ANND, Amnesty International, CESR, End Austerity Campaign, FTC, Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF), Global Social Justice/Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), HRW, ISSPF, ISER, ITUC, Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, Oxfam International, BWP, WIEGO, ARI and MenaFem.

Further information on this event is available here. Further information about the Right to Social Security Campaing is available here.

Members of the Social Security for all Campaign participated at the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBG) - International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meetings 2023 held in Marrakech, Morocco, from 9 to 15 October, 2023.

Members of the Social Security for all Campaign participated at the Reclaim our Future Conference, from 8 to 9 October 2023. The event End Austerity! Reclaim the Right to Education, Health and Social Security took place on October 8th.

This session presented the new austerity policies advised by the IMF and the World Bank, and implemented by most Ministries of Finance, from cuts to public services and social security/social protection, to privatization and labor flexibilization reforms, affecting more than 6 billion people. All the human suffering these reforms cause is unnecessary: there are alternatives that even the poorest countries can implement to achieve human rights including the right to education, health and social security.

The speakers were Isabel Ortiz (Director of the Global Social Justice Programme), Matti Kohonen (Director of the Financial Transparency Coalition), Nabil Abdo (Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam International), Roos Saalbrink (Global Lead on Economic Justice and Public Services, ActionAid International) and Sarah Saadoun (Senior Researcher and Advocate, Poverty and Inequality, Human Rights Watch).

Members of the Social Security for all Campaign participated at the Civil Society Policy Forum (CSPF) of the WBG-IMF Annual Meetings 2023, from 9 to 13 October 2023. The event "Building a New Eco-social Contract and Advancing Social Security in Times of Debt and Austerity" took place on Friday, October 13th. The video is here and further information is available here.

Recent research analyzing IMF programs show that, far from “mitigating” austerity measures, IMF policies and social spending floors fail to address negative social impacts. The panel explored how the World Bank and IMF could build a human rights-based economy with better developmental outcomes.

The event was moderated by Shahir Ishak (Senior Social Protection Specialist, Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum). And the speakers were Sarah Saadoun (Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch), Allana Kembabazi (Program Manager, Initiative for Social and Economic Rights), Isabel Ortiz (Director of the Global Social Justice, Initiative for Policy Dialogue) and Rodrigo Cerda (Division Chief, IMF), the World Bank Group (WBG) declined the invitation to participate in the event.

Members of the Social Security for all Campaign participated at the Global Counter-Summit of Social Movements, that was held from 12 to 15 October 2023. See the programme here.

Further information about the Right to Social Security Campaign is available here. Please sign on to the statement using this link here, and help us spread the word and encourage others for endorsements.

The video of the launching of the Campaign: Social Security for All – Key Pillar for a New Eco-Social Contract is now online. The event took place on Wednesday, October 4th, 2023.

The event was moderated by Farah Al Shami (Arab Reform Initiative). Global testimonies on the challenges of poverty targeting and pension privatization were presented by Allana Kembabazi (ISER, Uganda), Sarala Emmanuel (Feminist Collective for Economic Justice in Colombo, Sri Lanka), Guillermo Zuccotti (CGT, Argentina) and Manuel Riesco (CENDA Foundation, Chile). Isabel Ortiz (Global Social Justice) presented the Campaign: Social Security for All – Key Pillar for a New Eco-Social Contract.

Further information about the campaign is available here. Please sign on to the statement using this link here and the list of signatories is here.

The session “Social Justice: Social Protection and Health, People’s Vaccine” coorganized by GCSPF, GCAP Asia, GCAP Africa, PVA and Africa Japan Forum was held during the Global People’s Assembly (GPA) 2023 on 17th September at the UN Church Centre.

The GPA 2023 was held on September in New York – at the UN SDG Summit and the UN General Assembly. The GPA brought together people’s representatives together and creates a strong voice at the SDG Summit for the midpoint of Agenda 2030. Read the 2023 Declaration.

The Global People’s Assembly 2023 (GPA) will be on 17 (Sunday) and 18 September (Monday) in New York – at the UN SDG Summit and the UN General Assembly. The assembly will be hybrid - in-person in the Church Centre of the UN (opposite the UN) and participants can also join online.

The aim of the GPA is to bring people’s representatives together and create a strong voice at the SDG Summit for the midpoint of Agenda 2030. One of the priorities of the Global Assembly is to promote the right of all to universal social protection.

The GCSPF is coorganizer of the Global People's Assembly 2023. Sylvia Beales Gelber is also part of the drafting committee for the Declaration which will be no more than two pages and will be finalised on Sunday 17th and shared with the Secretary General of the UN at the start of the Summit.

The Global Coalition together with Africa Japan Forum, the People’s Vaccine, GCAP Africa and GCAP Asia is coorganizing the first session which is “Social Justice: Social Protection and Health, People’s Vaccine” that will take place on Sunday 17th, 2023 from 11.15 am - 12.45 pm New York time (If you will join us online you can confirm your local time here).

The objective of this session will be to articulate the key barriers and solutions to universal health coverage, social protection and achieving social justice for all with key asks to be included in the Declaration and to form the basis of a campaign plan.

Videos and messages will be shared in the session. We want the session to be as interactive as possible. We would really appreciate your in person presence for this in New York and for you to come to the session on line. As we will be developing key messages in the session as well as a campaign plan we therefore invite you to share your videos and messages. Please contact Sylvia (sylvia.bealesgelber AT gmail.com) to coordinate your contribution to this session.

Please register here to participate.

The program of the GPA 2023 is here.


The International Symposium on Improving Synergies between Social Protection and Public Finance Management, convened by the ILO, UNICEF, the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) and the European Union, brought together policymakers, social partners, civil society, and development partners to discuss the innovative practices and strategies for building sustainable and rights-based social protection systems resulting from the Social Protection & Public Finance Management Programme (SP&PFM).

Many members of the GCSPF participated in the Symposium online, whereas Uzziel Twagilimana (WSM) and Beatrice Di Padua (ITUC)  attended physically. As representatives of the GCSPF, Uzziel Twagilimana moderated the Opening and Panel 1: “Extending social protection to all” and Beatrice di Padua spoke at Panel 5: “Joining forces for universal and sustainable social protection and closing remarks”. The video of her intervention is online here.

Launched in 2019, the EU-funded Programme on 'Improving synergies between social protection and public finance management' (SP&PFM Programme) supports 24 countries in achieving gender-responsive, disability-inclusive, and shock-responsive social protection. It also contributes to strengthening the sustainability of social protection financing through advocacy and technical work for increased fiscal space and improved public finance management.

The international symposium reviewed achievements, exchanged country experiences and innovations, and highlighted key research findings. It also looked ahead to how countries can maintain their momentum towards realizing universal social protection.

Information about the “International Symposium on Improving Synergies between Social Protection and Public Finance Management” is available here. The International Symposium was held in Geneva on 27 - 28 June, 2023.

The “Global Forum on Adaptive Social Protection. Protecting lives and livelihoods in times of crisis” provided an opportunity for policymakers, practitioners and social protection experts to jointly examine and discuss the scope and potential of Adaptive Social Protection (ASP) to foster resilience and promote adaptation.

Dr. Magdalena Sepúlveda spoke on behalf of the GCSPF in the opening session “Towards social protection for all in the face of multiple global crises”. The video of her intervention is here.

The “Global Forum on Adaptive Social Protection” was hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the World Bank (WB) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with partners and with support from socialprotection.org. The Global Forum took place in Berlin from 13 to 15 June 2023. Further information is available here.

The German NGO association VENRO released a statement on the Global Forum on Adaptive Social Protection.

Co-hosted by the ILO, UNICEF, the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors, and the European Union

International symposium: Improving synergies between social protection & public finance management

When: 27 & 28 June | 13.30 – 17.30 CEST
Where: Hybrid, ILO Headquarters (Geneva) and Online

Register NOW

Description

Launched in October 2019, the EU-funded programme on 'Improving synergies between social protection and public finance management' (SP&PFM Programme) has been supporting 24 countries in their efforts towards achieving universal social protection, ensuring they are gender-responsive, disability-inclusive and shock-responsive. The Programme has contributed to strengthen the sustainability of social protection financing through strong advocacy for increased fiscal space for social protection and improved public finance management.

The international symposium offers the chance to take stock of the results achieved, exchange country experiences and innovations, and highlight key research findings of the SP&PFM Programme. It will also look ahead to how countries can maintain their momentum towards realizing universal social protection.

Interpretation will be provided in English, French and Spanish.

Agenda and concept noteProgramme brochure - For more information, please click here

Civil Society Call for a Global Fund for Social Protection

Over 200 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.

Read the Call

SP&PFM Programme

The programme Improving Synergies Between Social Protection and Public Finance Management provides medium-term support to multiple countries aiming to strengthen their social protection systems at a national level and ensure sustainable financing. The programme aims to support countries in their efforts towards achieving universal social protection coverage.

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

Read more

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