To support the BRICS countries in their efforts to strengthen cooperation on social security, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) launches a Virtual Liaison Office in cooperation with the International Labour Office (ILO).
On 11 June 2019, the first meeting of the BRICS Liaison Officers on Social Security is being organized at the ISSA General Secretariat in Geneva. This is also the occasion to launch the BRICS Virtual Liaison Office on social security, including an online cooperation platform hosted on the ISSA web portal. This is a practical tool to facilitate contact and information sharing between the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
“The BRICS countries are key partners for the ISSA and play a central role in global efforts to ensure strong and dynamic social security systems and institutions. By working together, we can also strengthen our efforts in expanding social security coverage in line with the Sustainable Development Goals”, says Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano, Secretary General of the ISSA.
The Virtual Liaison Office is based on an agreement signed in 2018 at the Fourth BRICS Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting in Durban, South Africa. The ministers agreed on stronger cooperation with the aim to improve social security systems and administration, exchange on social security agreements, and promote international standards and guidelines.
In the Durban agreement, the ISSA and ILO were given a central role in facilitating cooperation, under the guidance and management of the BRICS Employment Working Group. The cooperation takes into consideration both the relevant ILO Conventions and Recommendations on social security and the implementation of the ISSA Guidelines for social security administration.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda includes the objective to implement social protection systems and measures for all by 2030. The ISSA recently joined the Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection.