The 4th BRICS Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting (LEMM) took place from 2 to 3 August 2018 in Durban, South Africa, coinciding with the centenary celebration of Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected President of South Africa.
The meeting sought to ensure maximum synergy and continuity for BRICS collaboration in labour and social security based on deliberations and decisions made at the previous three LEMMs held in Russia (Ufa) in 2016, India (New Delhi) in 2016 and China (Chongqing in 2017), respectively.
Under the theme of “Developing countries for inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the New Industrial Revolution”, the meeting focused on four key challenges namely youth employment; women participation and equality; social dialogue; and social protection.
The ISSA has since the first LEMM in Russia contributed actively to the preparation of these meetings and in his support message Secretary General Mr Konkolewsky highlighted the BRICS leading role in global coverage extension based on well governed and high performing social security administrations, and reiterated ISSA’s commitment to support BRICS cooperation in the labour and social field.
Furthermore, during a joint presentation with Ms Isabel Ortiz, Director of the ILO’ Social Protection Department on “Moving towards universal and sustainable social security systems in the BRICS countries”, the ISSA Secretary General outlined a roadmap for the preparation of the first annual action plan to implement BRICS Social Security Cooperation Framework.
By signing a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the labour and social sphere the BRICS Ministers endorsed the Framework and the establishment of Virtual Liaison Office (VLO). The VLO will be hosted by the ISSA in collaboration with the ILO, as an implementation mechanism to further advance cooperation among the BRICS nations in particular as regards cooperation on the improvement of social security system, on social security agreements, on social security administration and on promoting international standards and guidelines.
In his closing remarks Mr Konkolewsky congratulated the BRICS Ministers on this historic agreement and expressed the ISSA’s wholehearted support to its implementation including the hosting the VLO and the active involvement of the ISSA Bureau’s BRICS Steering Group, led by Mr Anton Drozdov, Chair of the Board of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation.