The virtual side event “Decade of Action to achieve Universal Social Protection by 2030” will take place in the framework of the High-level Political Forum.

Please register here

Organizers: Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors and GCAP

Date: Monday 12th July 2021, Time: 7:30 – 9am New York, EDT

Please register here:

The event will be in English. Live Spanish and French translation will be offered.

Social protection is a human right, and an investment with high social and economic returns – an essential ingredient for the Achievement of the 2030 Agenda. Yet more than half the world’s population do not have access to comprehensive social protection. Coverage remains particularly limited in most low-income countries. Within countries most vulnerable groups are often still left behind. The COVID-19 pandemic is set to push up to 150 million people into extreme poverty, and 150 million children into multidimensional poverty posing serious challenge to the realisation of Agenda 2030.

The virtual side eventual is co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations; Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas), Indonesia; Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection – USP2030; Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors; Global Call to Action Against Poverty; International Labour Organization; The World Bank; International Network for Social Protection Rights (UNRISD); Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung; INSP!R West-Africa; Protestant Agency for Diakonie und Development; Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd; Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (CIPPEC).


Moderator: Dr. Katja Hujo, Senior Research Coordinator in the Social Policy and Development Programme of UNRISD

Session 1: The Contribution of Universal Social Protection to Agenda 2030

  • Dr. Shahra Razavi, Director of the Social Protection Department of the International Labour Organisation, and


  • Dr. Michal Rutkowski, Global Director, Social Protection and Jobs, The World Bank:
    Universal social protection – a key contribution to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda
    (SDG 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16, 17)


  • Maliki Ph.D., Director, Poverty Alleviation and Community Empowerment, Ministry of National Development Planning, Indonesia:
    Universal social protection for a resilient recovery and future crisis preparedness
  • Roshni K. Niggehalli, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA), on behalf of Global Call for Action Against Poverty India:
    Universal social protection – an essential instrument to reduce Inequality (SDG 10)

Q&A / Discussion

Session 2: Partnership for Joint Action

  • Uzziel Twagilimana, INSP!R West-Africa, on behalf of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors:
    The strength of national social dialogue to build universal social protection
  • Erika Roffler, Secretary of Social Policy, Ministry of Social Development, Argentina:
    The opportunities of a strong Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection (USP2030)
  • Prof. Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights:
    How a Global Fund for Social Protection will enable social protection coverage for those left furthest behind

Q&A / Discussion

Wrap up and Conclusion: Towards universal social protection by 2030

  • Summary of main messages and recommendations
  • Invitation to join Partnership and to live up to Agenda 2030 commitment to achieve universal social protection coverage by 2030.



Essential to achieve the 2030 Agenda is social protection, which is a universal human right, and investing in which brings high social and economic returns. However half the world’s population currently do not have access to any social protection. Coverage remains particularly limited in most low-income countries. Those who are not yet reached include marginalized children, people with disabilities, older women and men, refugees and migrants, and the homeless.

Alongside reviewing Agenda 2030 progress in 2021 the HLPF is considering the impacts of Covid-19, which has already exposed the depth and breadth of social and economic inequalities and is set to push up to 150 million people into extreme poverty1, and 150 million children into multidimensional poverty2. Government responses to Covid-19 include putting in place some social protection responses to ameliorate the impact loss of jobs and impoverishment and the increase of inequalities in their countries. Countries with established social protection systems have shown themselves to be in a much better position to cope with the social and economic fallout of Covid-19 faster, more effectively, and more efficiently than countries who have had to introduce new schemes on an ad hoc emergency basis.

Covid-19 has focussed minds on the importance of social protection guarantees to health and income, enabling access to education, food and housing. The impact of social protection on long-term poverty and inequality is clear. Many countries are realizing the need for and the long-term benefits of universal, comprehensive and adequate social protection, based on sustainable and equitable financing, tripartite administration and anchored in law.

We are entering the decade of action to achieve Agenda 2030 under extremely difficult circumstances. Global commitment to SDG 1 “to achieve substantial (social protection) coverage of the poor and the vulnerable by 2030” (Target 1.3) has become the highest priority to end poverty in all its forms, everywhere. Without concomitant commitment to joint action SDG 1 target 1.3 will fail.

We invite you to a 90-minute side event at the HLPF 2021 with speakers from Governments, United Nations and civil society. We will discuss why universal social protection is critical to the success of the 2030 Agenda, how social protection can prevent long-term poverty traps as a result of the ongoing crisis, how it will underpin resilient recovery and contribute to future crisis preparedness and how it will reduce inequalities. The event will explore the role of national social dialogue and the global partnership for universal social protection and propose a global mechanism to support countries put in place systems, data and finance to ensure universal coverage of the social protection floor.

Conclusions and recommendations will be inputted into the ongoing work of the High-level Political Forum 2021 and the work of the sponsoring partners.



The theme of the High-level Political Forum 2021 is “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”.

Each HLPF considers the integrated, indivisible and interlinked nature of the Sustainable Development Goals. Those under specific review in 2021 are Goal 1; no poverty, Goal 2; zero hunger, Goal 3; good health and well-being, Goal 8; decent work and economic growth, Goal 10; reduced inequalities, Goal 12; responsible consumption and production, Goal 13: climate action, Goal 16; peace, justice and strong institutions, Goal 17; partnerships and data.

The meeting of the HLPF in 2021 will be held from Tuesday, 6 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. This includes the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 13 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021.