#HLPF17 - Highlights Day 1

The Trade Union participation in the day 1 of the High Level Political Forum 2017 featured Wellington Chibebe’s (Deputy General Secretary of the ITUC) participation in a side-event on the Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection, an initiative that brings together the World Bank, ILO and other international organisations and civil society groups to promote universal social protection.

During the event of the Global Partnership on Universal Social Protection: Ending Poverty by 2030, Chibebe signalled the ITUCs support to the Global Partnership on Universal Social Protection and offered to engage fully in the work of the partnership going forward. In his intervention, DGS Chibebe began by recalling that ILO Convention 102 on social security and Recommendation 202 on social protection floors set the foundation for implementation at the national level. He suggested that social protection is a key tool in reducing poverty and inequality, supporting education and skill development, and promoting access to quality employment.

He also mentioned that there remain several challenges to realising Universal Social Protection by 2030. He noted that, in many countries, social protection systems leave out large portions of the population, with ILO estimates indicate that only 27% of the world’s population enjoys a comprehensive level of social protection and that even when comprehensive social protection systems are put into place, benefits are insufficient to guarantee decent livelihoods. He highlighted that workers in the informal economy, as well as workers in precarious, temporary and atypical forms of work are often unable to enjoy the classic social security arrangements that workers on ‘standard’ contracts benefit from.

He also spoke to the challenge of securing a sustainable and fair financing base, by stating that demographic ageing in some countries has created additional financing pressures for social protection. But measures taken by governments to support the sustainability of social protection systems are often implemented to the detriment of adequacy and accessibility. He therefore said that it is essential that governments ensure adequate fiscal space to support social protection, suggesting to do so by establishing more redistributive tax systems, tackling illicit financial flows and tax evasion, re-allocating public expenditures, taking measures to increase tax and social security contributions, and by supporting formal employment. DGS Chibebe also emphasized the role of the social partners, in the design, delivery and monitoring of social protection schemes.

DGS Chibebe intervention starts at 36’15”

Find out more about trade unions participation in the HLPF 2017 here.

More information on the ITUC’s policy on social protection, available here.