Social protection floors for a just transition to the green and digital economy

Side event during the 59th session of the Commission for Social Development. Organized by the Government of Switzerland, in collaboration with the ILO and partners of Universal Social Protection 2030.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rise of the digital economy. It has also opened new opportunities to accelerate the transition to a green economy. These trends will cause disruptions in labour markets and affect millions of people. There will be job losses in some sectors, and gains in others. Many workers will have to acquire new skills. In these times of rapid change, social protection floors will be essential to ensure a human-centered recovery from COVID-19 and a future of work that leaves no one behind. The ILO Centenary Declaration (2019) calls for enhanced social protection systems that are adapted to these new developments in the world of work.

Globally, however, social protection systems remain seriously inadequate and underfunded. Today, 55 per cent of the world population – as many as 4 billion people – are unprotected. This coverage gap exists because of significant financing gaps. In order to fulfil the global community’s commitments to extend coverage , developing countries would need to invest an additional US$1.2 trillion to close the annual financing gap of social protection . To achieve universal social protection (USP2030), a new level of investment is needed, leveraging the power of partnerships, capacities and technologies, and based on the principles of social dialogue, accountability and solidarity.

This side event will bring together governments, social partners, development partners, civil society, and academics. The focus will be on setting the scene, identifying challenges and opportunities based on sharing concrete country experience, and coming up with concrete actions, with a view to ensuring that the human right to social protection becomes a reality for all and to achieving the goals set by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.


Welcoming remarks: Mr. Adrian Hauri, Deputy Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN

Ms. Shahra Razavi, Director, Social Protection Department, ILO

  • H.E. Mrs. Colette Roberts Risden, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Jamaica
  • H.E. Ms. Valérie Berset Bircher, Ambassador, Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), State Secretariat of Economic Affairs SECO, Labour Directorate / International Labour Affairs, Switzerland
  • Ms. Aileen O’Donovan, Social Protection Policy Lead, Irish Aid
  • Mr. Sunya Orre, Director, Technical Services, National Drought Management Authority, Kenya
  • Ms. Katharina Diekmann, Technical Adviser, Social Protection, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  • Mr. Elkebir Alaoui, Deputy Resident Representative - Programme, UNDP Senegal
  • Mr. Robert Marinkovic, Adviser for SDGs and the Green Economy, International Organisation of Employers (IOE)
  • Ms. Montserrat Mir Roca, Senior Advisor for the Just Transition Centre, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and Former ETUC Confederal Secretary Representative

How to Attend

Register on Zoom

Social media advisory