The 15th ISSA Forum for Technical Commissions (TC Forum) was held virtually as a series of meetings from 15 to 29 June. The technical commissions of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) made important progress in their work, and a number of cross-cutting sessions nurtured reflection and discussions across branches and areas of expertise.
Over 200 members of the 13 ISSA technical commissions, as well as the Special Working Group on Rehabilitation, were engaged in this year’s TC Forum. The series of meetings enabled a wide participation of members in discussions on ongoing projects, preliminary results, upcoming reports and more. Of particular importance were the discussions on the ongoing revision of some of the ISSA Guidelines for Social Security Administration, and on the development of new guidelines on business continuity and resilience, and on human resources management in social security administration. The revised and new ISSA Guidelines will be finalized by the end of 2022.
The virtual format and flexible format actually facilitated the participation of more members than usual. In his closing remarks on 29 June, ISSA Secretary General Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano emphasised five key take-away from the TC Forum 2021:
- The strong link between the discussions and the topical priorities agreed by the ISSA Council during the World Social Security Forum in October 2019.
- The technical commissions are contributing to very concrete outputs in terms of Guidelines, reports, events and more.
- The cross-cutting discussions are really taking forward the agenda of the social security at the global level and leveraging on the synergy between technical commissions.
- The level of participation in the digital TC Forum 2021 has been very good, in particular in the cross-cutting sessions.
- The ISSA is the only association that can bring together social security institutions at the global level for knowledge production, cooperation and networking.
A number of technical reports will be issued by the ISSA over the coming months, and the TC Forum was an important occasion to discuss these draft reports. They will deal with key issues for social security, such as long-term care, cyber security, digital operational resilience, digital inclusion, extension of coverage to the missing-middle workers, and the design of survivor benefits. The Director of Social Security Development at the ISSA, Raúl Ruggia-Frick, stressed that the exchanges validated the relevance of the topics, as well as the approaches taken in the projects, and to identify aspects to develop further.