In April 2009, the UN System’s Chief Executives Board for Co-ordination (CEB) launched the Social Protection Floor (SPF) Initiative. Endorsed by UN Member States at the Rio +20 Conference on Sustainable Development, and supported by the G20 and many other fora, the Initiative garnered significant attention and momentum.
UN-wide implementation was given a boost in June 2012 when governments, employers, and workers adopted the path-breaking ILO Recommendation concerning national floors of social protection (No. 202) in 2012 http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO::P12100_ILO_CODE:R202
This is to encourage you to maintain momentum behind this important work. The letter attached, from Helen Clark and myself, is addressed to all UN Resident Co-ordinators and UN Country Teams (UNCT) to consider a number of specific steps to advance this work:
1. Building, or where they already exist, strengthening One UN National Social Protection Floor Teams, which should include committed UN organization representatives, relevant national stakeholders, and development partners.
2. Supporting national dialogues, including within governments, on potential options for designing and implementing locally appropriate SPFs, consistent with relevant provisions in the ILO Recommendation, and related initiatives - such as World Health Organization’s work on universal health coverage and existing national development priorities and strategies.
3. Assisting countries to undertake analysis of social protection needs and gaps, optional measures which would close these gaps, tools to monitor progress, and possible sources of financing, with the hope of increasing floors over time.
4. In the context of preparing United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs), promoting SPFs as instruments to advance inclusive and sustainable development.
5. Working with national statistical offices to strengthen their ability to collect the data needed to analyse social protection needs and existing provisions, disaggregated by factors such as gender, age, and geographical locality. Promote an efficient and co-ordinated UNCT approach to data collection and capacity support.
The need remains enormous: more than 76 per cent of the world’s population continues to live without adequate social protection coverage. Expanding people’s access to social protection is both a way to advance human rights and a sound economic policy. Well-designed social protection systems support household incomes and domestic consumption; build human capital and increase productivity.
In the face of an uncertain global recovery and lower demand, the adoption of a Social Protection Floor is an opportunity to help stabilize economies, generate inclusive growth, and build political stability.
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