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Shaping the Future of Inclusive Social Security: ISSPF Regional Conference in MENA

The ISSPF Regional Conference on Inclusive Social Security: Towards a Working Agenda in the MENA Region is a distinctive event set to unfold in Amman, Jordan, from September 19th to 20th, 2023. The conference will serve as a dynamic platform crafted by the Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum (ISSPF) to challenge prevailing narratives and advance the cause of inclusive social security throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Through three interactive roundtable discussions, the conference will strive to create a shared agenda for MENA civil society organizations around key areas such as the role of international financial institutions, poverty-targeting programs, and data accessibility and their relation to inclusive social security in the region. Each roundtable will feature experts and moderators to share successful policies/ campaigns and highlight key questions around the themes of the roundtable discussions. The event will also commence with an introductory panel presenting challenges and opportunities for inclusive social security in the MENA region, and a closing panel will take place to present the findings and conclusions of the roundtable discussions.

In light of recent global crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the conference underscores the critical role of universal social security systems. High-income nations invest significantly in universal schemes, while many MENA countries rely on limited social insurance schemes, provided mainly to those in the formal economy.

If the social contract and social cohesion are to be strengthened in the MENA region, a paradigm shift in the design of national social security systems is required, with a move to building systems for all citizens, based on the right to social security for all, as happened over time across high-income countries.

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