Experts from 21 countries to discuss Social Security issues

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New Delhi, May 11 (UNI) Delegates from 21 countries of the Asia-Pacific region will meet here on May 19-20 for a major conference on identifying policy approaches for social security coverage in the region.

The two-day meeting on 'Socially Inclusive Strategies to Extend Social Security Coverage' will be organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Labour Ministry and inaugurated by Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes.

A number of international agencies closely associated with social protection issues, will be represented as observers, including the WHO, ADB, World Bank, IMF, UNDP, EC, ASEAN, SAARC, the International Social Security Association (ISSA), bilateral donor agencies and local institutions working with social security issues.

''The meeting will bring together government workers and employers delegates from 21 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The aim of the meeting is to identify a set of policy approaches that countries can use to pursue effective and progressive extension of social security coverage, particularly to workers in the informal economy,'' a statement issued by the ILO here said.

According to the ILO, only 20 per cent of the world's population has adequate social security coverage and more than half lack any coverage at all.

The ILO promotes policies and provides assistance to countries to help extend adequate levels of social protection to all members of society.

Social security involves access to health care and income security, particularly in cases of old age, unemployment, sickness, invalidity, work injury, maternity or loss of a main income earner.

A 'Global Campaign on Social Security and Coverage for All', launched in 2003, builds on efforts already underway in more than 30 countries. These include projects to help countries extend coverage at the national level and to strengthen community-based social security organisations.

UNI RB HS BD1940

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