Climate change, human rights and social security

16/01/2024 02:39 PM

With the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP28) and the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights high on the global agenda, it is timely to stress that these issues are tightly linked to the global ambition and obligation to deliver social security for all.

The COP28 has just come to an end after two weeks of discussions in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with world leaders agreeing to new strategies for climate action. In parallel, the UN marked the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These historic events are closely linked to the importance of extending and strengthening social security.

“Social security is not only a fundamental right, but also one of the key tools in addressing the social and economic consequences of climate change”, says Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano, ISSA Secretary General.

Illustrative image (internet)

Proclaimed in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrined social security as a basic human right. There is still a way to go, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (USP 2030) have an ambition that social protection should be extend to all by 2030. ISSA member institutions across the world are working hard to contribute to achieving this goal.

Social security is crucial for the resilience of people and for societies. Today, climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face. This year, world temperatures have gone to exceptional high levels, and the results were unprecedented storms, floods, droughts, water shortages and other natural consequences that have a strong impact on the work and lives of people globally.

ISSA has analysed the role of social security in responding to climate change, building on examples of actions taken by its member institutions in Africa. Climate change was one of the key topics discussed during the 21st ISSA International Conference of Social Security Actuaries, Statisticians and Investment Specialists (ACT 2023), which took place recently in Mexico, and climate change and environmental issues have also been addressed in a number of ISSA webinars.

These challenges will continue to be addressed in ISSA events, through the sharing of experiences and good practices, and developing new tools and resources that will contribute to delivering social security for all, and to addressing the key challenges of our time.