ILO tasks World Bank on global social security scheme

World Bank Group

THE International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. Photo: techcabal

THE need for the world to engender an all-inclusive social protection to cover the poorest of the poor by global institutions has been stressed by the International Labour Organization (ILO). 

The ILO Director General, Guy Ryder, said the World Bank Group and the ILO share a vision of social protection for all, a world where anyone who needs social protection can access it at any time.

He explained that the new development agenda that is being defined by the world community, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), provides an unparalleled opportunity for our two institutions to join forces to make universal social protection a reality, for everyone, everywhere.

Universal coverage and access to social protection are central to ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity, the World Bank Group’s twin goals by 2030. Universal social protection coverage is at the core of the ILO’s mandate, guided by its standards including the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, No. 2012, adopted by 185 states in 2012.

For the World Bank Group and the ILO, universal social protection refers to the integrated set of policies designed to ensure income security and support to all people across the life cycle – paying particular attention to the poor and the vulnerable. Anyone who needs social protection should be able to access it.

Universal social protection includes: adequate cash transfers for all who need them, especially children; benefits and support for people of working age in case of maternity, disability, work injury or for those without jobs; and pensions for all older persons. This protection can be provided through social insurance, tax-funded social benefits, social assistance services, public works programs and other schemes guaranteeing basic income security.

Ryder stressed that universal social protection is a goal that the World Bank Group and the ILO, strive to help countries deliver, saying social protection systems that are well designed and implemented can powerfully shape countries, enhance human capital and productivity, eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and contribute to building social peace.

They are an essential part of National Development Strategies to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development with equitable social outcomes.

He added: “We are proud to endorse the consensus that has emerged in the early 21st century that social protection is a primary development tool and priority. Since the 2000s, universality has re-entered the development agenda. First it was education: universal primary education became a Millennium Development Goal in 2000. In 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution endorsing universal health coverage. Now it is time for universal social protection.”

The African Union, ASEAN, the European Commission, G20, OECD and the United Nations have all endorsed universal social protection.
He therefore declared that now is time to join forces to make it happen.

Beginning in 2016, the world will begin the pursuit of an ambitious new development agenda, under the auspices of the United Nations: the Sustainable De
velopment Goals (SDGs). Social protection systems, including social protection floors, figure prominently among the SDGs:

Goal one, which entails ending poverty in all its forms everywhere, also demands implementing nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and

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