In 1927, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) was created under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Today, the two organizations celebrate their long-lasting partnership and are discussing the steps towards achieving universal social protection by 2030.
At the World Social Security Forum (WSSF), organized by the ISSA in Brussels, Belgium this week, a special session was dedicated to the ILO Centenary. The ISSA and the ILO have been partners for as long as the ISSA has been established. “The ISSA and the ILO have worked hand in hand for almost a century, and we wanted to use this World Social Security Forum to reflect on our partnership and how we can continue and strengthen the promotion social security worldwide”, says Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano, Secretary General of the ISSA.
Mutual benefits and complementary roles
It was an historic moment when 17 organizations from nine countries gathered for the International Conference of National Associations of Mutual Benefit Societies and of Sickness Insurance Funds at the Palace of the Academies in Brussels, Belgium, in 1927 - 92 years ago. The International Labour Organization, which works with governments, employer and employee organizations was seeking a strong partner to work with social security institutions, crucial for implementation of their conventions and recommendations. The success of the ISSA-ILO partnership lies in their mutual benefits and complementary roles.
The Director General of the ILO, Guy Ryder pointed out that the organization of the ISSA’s World Social Security Forum was very timely, coinciding with the ILO Centenary celebrations. “Since the earliest days, the ISSA and the ILO have stood side by side in the development of social security, contributing to the overarching objective of promoting social justice across the world”, Mr Ryder said.
Looking to the future
More than just looking at historic developments and achievements, today’s sessions are about looking to the future. The ILO and ISSA are working together to promote and achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals on social protection. Despite major advances in expanding and improving social security over the last decades, over half of the world’s population is still without any form of social protection.
The ISSA and the ILO are committed to further strengthen their efforts and cooperation to ensure that everyone has access to social protection. In November, the ISSA will contribute to the ILO Social Protection Week, and ISSA members are encouraged to get involved.