The Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors meets in Nairobi
The core team of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors met in Nairobi, Kenya, from 15 to 17 January 2018 to discuss pressing issues on its agenda and to chart a way for future activities. Formed in June 2012 by NGOs and other organizations of civil society such as trade unions, now the Global Coalition brings together more than 100 members interested in achieving the universal provision of economic and social security through basic guarantees on income and essential social services throughout the life course. Promoting Recommendation 202 of the ILO is one of its main objectives. The Coalition operates within a worldwide network structure, but has not established a formal headquarters. The core team, which performs coordinating functions, brings together representatives of the Coalition members who are capable and willing to plan and strategize for upcoming policy and research activities of the Coalition, review all draft documentation produced by the Coalition, and perform other duties.
Embracing the principles of inclusivity, solidarity, non-discrimination, gender equality, openness and transparency, the Coalition is fostering a supportive team environment so as to achieve the shared objectives. The vision of the Coalition has been identified as “promoting the implementation of social protection floors and the extension of social protection to all”. Its mission—working strategically and in a spirit of global solidarity to provide a space and virtual platform for coalition members united by the common purpose of promoting the extension of social protection floors and systems.
The meeting in Nairobi was organized in close cooperation with the African Platform for Social Protection—an important regional umbrella organization of civil society devoted to promoting social protection in African countries. The meeting was addressed by Ms. Susan Mochache, Principal Secretary, State Department of Social Protection of Kenya, who informed the participants about the recent initiatives of the Kenyan Government in the area of social protection, outlining both opportunities and challenges. The field trip organized by the hosts enabled the participants of the meeting to visit local sites and listen to people who are benefiting from various social protection schemes in Kenya.
Among the key issued discussed by the Coalition core team in Nairobi were how to provide support to Coalition members in terms of information sharing and the coordination of regional activities, the preparation of “shadow” reports in the context of the monitoring and evaluation of international commitments, advocacy for and promotion of resolutions dedicated to social protection systems, including floors, within the remit of United Nations organs, such as the Commission for Social Development and the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly. The issue of social protection financing and new approaches in that area were also discussed at length.
The core team also reviewed and adopted the revised draft of the terms of reference for the Global Coalition, which delineate the background, guiding principles, main goals and specifics on the internal functioning of the Coalition. The recent update of the Social Protection Floor Index—one of the earlier documents prepared under the auspices of the Global Coalition—was highly commended. The core team also decided to update the existing Civil Society Guide and spare no efforts in promoting its use within the Coalition and beyond.