The consensus among all of the panelists was that social protection is not a question to neglect. Indeed, for the representative of Finland, social protection is a pre-requisite for the meaningful participation of all in government. Additionally, he stated that decent work is the most reliable form of social protection for those who can work.
On the other hand, Stephen Pursey, Director, Policy Integration Department and Senior Adviser to the Director-General International Labour Organization (ILO), highlighted the fact that social protection is not an “emerging” issue, but like many other issues that are currently being discussed at the Commission on Social Development, it is an “emerged” issue that has been insufficiently addressed. This need has been recognized by the UN Social Protection Floor Initiatives through the recognition of Right to basic services for all, the right to income security for all and the right to social security (at the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. According to him it is the duty for all nations to realize a social protection floor or if this is not feasible, to seek international aid to do so. Finally, the Head of Rio+20 Secretariat agreed that we need to re-think our approach to development, and that we need to move from policy analysis to actual implementation. He re-emphasized the fact that coherence of policy and of institutions is essential as well as engagement and participation of all. Now the major work of the UN will be to accelerate attainment of the Millennium Development Goals by using what we learned from MDG framework to create the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals.
By Constance Visser, Intern at WYA HQ in New York.