The ISSA World Social Security Forum (WSSF) was organized in Marrakech, Morocco from 24 to 28 October 2022. Over 1000 participants from 135 countries contributed to the World Forum, demonstrating the essential contribution of social security to inclusive and resilient societies.
The International Social Security Association’s (ISSA) triennial World Social Security Forum is the biggest and most important global social security event and took place at a key moment for social security. Two years after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered unprecedented social security responses and in the context of global economic uncertainty, the WSSF highlighted the key role of social security for resilient and inclusive societies and showcased global institutional innovations towards sustainable, adequate, well-governed and accessible social security systems
With its more than 130 plenary, parallel and interactive sessions and the ISSA Innovation Zone, the World Forum provided unique opportunities to learn, exchange and be inspired on a wide range of social security priorities and solutions. After years of mostly virtual events, the WSSF gathered the global social security community of leaders and experts from social security institutions, governments and international organizations to debate and shape strategies that enable social security systems and institutional capacities to meet the evolving needs for social security protection worldwide.
Global priorities and major trends
As a gateway to recent social security priorities and solutions, the ISSA’s new flagship report Priorities for social security – Global 2022, set the scene for the World Forum. Focussing on innovative management practices, coverage gaps, the needs of an ageing population, the role of social security for inclusive growth and cohesion and responses to COVID-19, the report provides a comprehensive overview of what matters in social security today.
The sessions at the World Forum allowed participants to deep dive into various key aspects of current social security priorities:
- Social security management in the human-digital age, which requires a focus on people-centred service delivery, building institutional capacity and the effective combination of incremental transformations in human resource management and digitalization.
- Inclusiveness and resilience, which highlighted not only the essential role of social security in building resilient and inclusive societies but also the various building blocks necessary to ensur that social security systems and institutions themselves are inclusive and resilient.
- Key social security system developments, as sessions discussed the evolving needs of ageing populations, coverage of the informal sector and vulnerable groups, universal health coverage, promoting employment and unemployment protection, the interactions between social security and climate change as well as financial sustainability considerations.
- World Social Security Summit, which brought together Ministers and state secretaries and which highlighted political commitment and strategies for strengthening social security.
A focus on innovation, collaboration and new ISSA tools
The World Forum was focused on what is next in social security and social security administration, and several new ISSA support tools to accompany social security institutions were launched.
- The ISSA Innovation Zone showcased thirty-three demonstrations of innovations and hands-on tutorials on emerging technologies, enabling participants to immerse themselves in advanced solution approaches and interact directly with the presenters.
- The new ISSA Guidelines on Continuity and Resilience of Social Security Services and Systems, ISSA Guidelines on Human Resource Management in Social Security Administration, along with other updated and revised guidelines,
- The launch of the ISSA collaborative innovation hub pointed the way to a new ISSA approach to support the innovation capacity of member institutions by leveraging co-creation on innovation projects.
The World Forum was also an opportunity to celebrate excellence in social security. Iceland received the ISSA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Social Security for its strategic approach and remarkable impact in using social security to further the objective of gender equality.
10 social security institutions from nine countries received ISSA Certificates of Excellence for their successful implementation of ISSA Guidelines in various areas of social security administration. ISSA members contributed to video testimonials about their experiences with this programme. The WSSF host organization CDG Prévoyance was given a special certificate for being the first social security institution worldwide that has achieved seven ISSA Certificates of Excellence.
The World Forum also provided the framework for the 39th Session of the ISSA Council and the election of ISSA Officers. The Council elected Dr Mohammed Azman bin Aziz Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer and Director General of the Social Security Organisation (Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial – PERKESO) in Malaysia, as new ISSA President. It also renewed the mandate of Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano as Secretary General, elected Jean-Marc Vandenbergh from Belgium as Treasurer, and elected new members of the Control Commission.
The World Social Security Forum 2022 was organized under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, and hosted by CDG Prévoyance, the Interprofessional Retirement Fund (Caisse Interprofessionnelle marocaine de retraites – CIMR), the National Social Security Fund (Caisse nationale de sécurité sociale – CNSS) and the Pension Fund of Morocco (Caisse marocaine des retraites – CMR).
World Social Security Summit
A highlight of the WSSF, the World Social Security Summit focused on strategies and policy initiatives to meet the evolving needs of populations for social security protection. In the context of multiple transitions and economic uncertainty, the Summit highlighted social security policies and measures, and the need for strong institutional capacity, contributing to just, inclusive and resilient societies. The Summit was moderated by the outgoing ISSA President, Professor Joachim Breuer, with the following speakers:
- Arti Ahuja, Secretary to the Government, Ministry of Labour and Employment, India
- Khalid Ait Taleb, Minister of Health, Morocco
- Karen Best, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Barbados
- Adama Kamara, Minister, Minister of Employment and Social Protection, Côte d'Ivoire
- André Rodrigues Veras, Secretary of Social Security, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Brazil
- Brenda Mwika Tambatamba, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Zambia