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ISSA and ILO sign “historic” co-operation agreement on social security

The International Social Security Association and the ILO have forged a new link aimed at promoting extension of social security to the 80 percent of the world's people who lack coverage.

News | 22 March 2012

GENEVA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Social Security Association (ISSA) have formalized an agreement aimed at reinforcing their collaboration in support of the extension and promotion of social security, during a ceremony held in Geneva on 22 March.

The Memorandum of Understanding is the result from the conclusions of the decision of the International Labour Conference in 2011 that called on the ILO to strengthen cooperation with other international organizations in the area of social security. The agreement recognizes the complementarities and potential of strengthened coordination of ISSA and ILO capacities, particularly in the extension of social protection, and commits the two organizations to closer programmatic and strategic cooperation.

The Memorandum was signed by the ILO’s Executive Director of the Social Protection Sector,AssaneDiop,and the ISSA Secretary General,Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, in a ceremony attended by members of the ILO’s Governing Body and representatives of other organizations, at the ILO headquarters in Geneva.

"This historic agreement recognizes the key contribution of social security institutions to the extension of coverage and the unique role of the ISSA at the international level,” MrKonkolewsky said during the signing ceremony.

“The Memorandum marks a new chapter in the long-standing strategic partnership between our organizations, which no doubt will benefit ISSA members and ILO constituents, and will reinforce efforts to extend social security worldwide. It recognizes the ISSA´s important role in promoting excellence in social security administration through professional standards and good practice solutions, which will be a key element in the ISSA's support of the ILO's two-dimensional strategy for the extension of social security,” he stated.

"Strengthening the relations between the ILO and the ISSA, which was called for by the International Labour Conference in 2011, has been a personal priority for me," said AssaneDiop, ILO Executive Director of the ILO Social Protection Sector.

"Together, we have helped to make the world aware that modern and dynamic social security systems are a powerful tool to combat poverty, social injustice and social insecurity," he said.

The Memorandum of Understanding identifies five key areas for future strategic collaboration:

Provision of technical advisory services aimed at building institutional capacities, strengthened governance and management of social security.

  • Policy development and advocacy to promote the extension of social security coverage.
  • Collection and dissemination of knowledge and information, including analytical and statistical databases on social security.
  • Development of professional guidelines for social security administration.
  • Capacity building and training on social security policy, administration and other areas.

The ISSA is the principal international institution bringing together social security agencies, government departments and organizations, and was founded under the auspices of the ILO in 1927 with the aim of strengthening the role of social insurance schemes for the economic and health protection of workers. Since its creation, the ISSA Secretariat has been based at the ILO headquarters, and has worked closely with the ILO in the development of social security.