News ID: 152 Publish Date : 6/9/2016 Hour : 14:32 Group: Home  
Keynote Address by:  Mr Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Secretary General of the International Social Security Association (ISSA)
Technical Seminar on Administrative and Operational Efficiency Iranian Social Security Organization (ISSO) Tehran, I.R. Iran, 30-31August 2016

Keynote Address by: Mr Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Secretary General of the International Social Security Association (ISSA)

Honourable Minister,

Dr. Nourbakhsh, Managing Director of Iranian Social Security Organization,

Mr. Kumar, Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the ISSA Liaison Office for South Asia,

Distinguished Delegates,

Dear colleagues and friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me start by thanking the Iranian Social Security Organization (ISSO) for generously having offered to host this Technical Seminar and the National Organizing Committee for having spared no efforts in preparing an exceptional environment and warm welcome for all seminar participants.

Our particular gratitude goes to Dr. Nourbakhsh, the Managing Director of the Iranian Social Security Organization for his personal commitment to the ISSA and his leadership in the hosting of this event. In fact, I have for a long time been looking forward to visiting Iran, and it is indeed a privilege and a great pleasure to be here today in beautiful Tehran with colleagues and friends from Iran, South Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific regions.

For the ISSA as a global organization, regional collaboration and the exchange of good practices, experiences and lessons learnt in comparable contexts is of high importance. For this purpose, and with the great support and input by member organizations that characterizes our unique Association, we have established a network of 17 regional structures around the world. And one of these structures is the Liaison Office for South Asia. Hosted by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation of India, this Liaison Office serves member institutions in the region and contributes to enhanced collaboration among them.

Let me take this occasion to thank the Director General of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, Mr. Deepak Kumar, for the commitment to host this Liaison Office. I also wish to also express our gratitude to Mr. Arun Kumar, the Liaison Officer for South Asia, who has worked in an exemplary manner together with the ISSA Secretariat and the host organization in the preparation of this Seminar. Also in the name of my colleagues in the Secretariat in Geneva, I should like to sincerely thank you for this.

This Seminar is very timely, for two important reasons. First of all because of the significant efforts to extend and improve social security coverage globally and in particular in the region of Asia.  Importantly, these efforts are accompanied by, and also are dependent on, a commitment to improved governance of social security schemes, organizational performance, strengthened human resources and the efficient use of ICT.

This is clearly reflected in the responses to the ISSA member survey carried out during 2015 and to which more than 82% of ISSA members provided input. In the Asia and the Pacific region, managing technological innovation, extending coverage, improving service accessibility and quality and enhancing governance ranked highly among the challenges expressed by ISSA member institutions.

The agenda of our Seminar will take up these challenges by focussing on good governance and ICT, human resources and organizational change as well as the extension of coverage. Featuring the experiences from various member institutions, I am convinced that the technical programme we have prepared will be of high interest to all participants. In this regard, let me also welcome the representatives of the National Pension Service of Korea, the institution that has won the ISSA Good Practice Award for Asia and the Pacific last year for its achievements in the implementation of bilateral agreements and the protection of migrant workers.

A special welcome also to the delegates from the Employees Provident Fund of Nepal and from the Social Security Organisation of Malaysia, who will share interesting national experiences with us during the course of this seminar

Recent global experience in extending and improving social security protection has once again demonstrated that both political commitment and high administrative performance are key ingredients for success.

In this regard, our host organization serves as an excellent example. Social security protection through retirement, disability and survivor benefits, unemployment, sickness, maternity and accident benefits are defined as a right for each citizen in the Iranian Constitution. Reflecting this commitment at the highest level is the awareness among policymakers and the Iranian people of the importance of social security protection and the positive role of social security as an investment in human capital and thus in the development of the country.

The Iranian Social Security Organization’s commitment to high performance in administration ensures that the legal principles and political objectives turn into real access and benefits for people.

To facilitate this objective, learning from other countries and international exchange is vital. In this regard, the Iranian Social Security Organization plays a strong role in our Association. As an active member in the ISSA Bureau, the ISSA’s governing body, over many years, you have contributed to shaping the ISSA’s programme and development. Through your interest in the work of our Technical Commissions, the participation in the ISSA taskforce on the extension of coverage, the attendance of key ISSA conferences or the submission of good practices, you have demonstrated your commitment to sharing experiences. And through your attention to the ISSA Guidelines and the commitment to use the services of the Centre for Excellence, you show your determination to implement international best practice for the benefit of your population. I wish to congratulate you on this commitment to excellence and look forward to your continued close involvement in the broad range of ISSA activities.

There are high expectations to all of us, as social security administrations, to strive for high service levels and ensure well governed, high performing institutions.

These expectations stem from the strong political commitment to the extension of coverage, reflected in the ILO Recommendation for Social Protection Floors and most recently in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. This global commitment is based on a shared understanding that social security has a significant positive impact on individuals as well as on a country’s social and economic development.

At the national level, this international policy consensus is reflected in enhanced efforts to extend coverage and improve social security in many countries of South Asia and the wider region of Asia and the Pacific.  The ISSA Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and the Pacific held one year ago in Oman showed many examples of this development and confirmed that we are currently witnessing one of the most dynamic movements towards the extension of coverage ever.

While, as a result, many more formal sector populations already enjoy social security protection, we must strengthen our efforts to also cover those that are more difficult to reach, who have characteristics that make them hard to cover or that have low contributory capacity.

Importantly, all experiences in successful coverage extension highlight the importance of administrative excellence. Overcoming barriers often involves innovation, creativity and flexibility in taking into account the special social, labour market and economic characteristics of target populations.

I am pleased to report that the ISSA has during the past years considerably developed its services to effectively support social security institutions in working towards administrative improvements. In this context, let me briefly introduce to you the ISSA Guidelines and our Centre for Excellence.

Launched at the World Social Security Forum in 2013, the ISSA Centre for Excellence is a comprehensive package of relevant knowledge and practical services designed to assist member institutions.

The cornerstone of the Centre consists of the ISSA Guidelines for social security administration. These international professional standards prepared under the auspices of the ISSA’s Technical Commissions are based on international best practice and provide a unique reference material for the management and experts of member institutions.

ISSA-Guidelines are currently available for Good Governance, Service Quality, ICT, Contribution Collection and Compliance, Investment of Social Security Funds, Prevention, Workplace Heath Promotion and Return to Work and Reintegration.

The feedback by ISSA member institutions on these Guidelines has been enthusiastic during the current triennium. Many member institutions are already implementing or planning to implement Guidelines and only two years after their launch they lead the impact table of all ISSA services. I am particularly pleased that institutions in South Asia have also signalled their commitment and interest in the ISSA Guidelines, and I wish to here also thank our host organization, the ISSO, for having taken the initiative to translate ISSA Guidelines into Farsi so as to strengthen their usability and impact in Iran and beyond.

Based on the positive feedback by the global ISSA membership on the existing Guidelines, I am proud to announce the launch of four new Guidelines on the occasion of the ISSA World Social Security Forum in Panama this November, namely on Communication by Social Security Administrations, Administrative Solutions for the Extension of Coverage, Actuarial Work and Sustainable Employment.

As part of the ISSA Centre for Excellence, the Guidelines are complemented by a range of relevant and effective support and capacity-building services:

  • On-line self-assessment tools that allow member institutions to assess their situation with reference to the Guidelines;
  • Workshops of the ISSA Academy that offer the opportunity to identify solutions to concrete problems through a facilitated member-to-member exchange and the input of an international expert;
  • The ISSA Diploma Learning Programme that offers in-depth learning opportunities in collaboration with our training consortium, including for instance the Training Centre of the ILO;
  • And throughout the work with the Guidelines, the ISSA Technical Support service provides technical advice and access to relevant experts;
  • Finally, member institutions that have successfully implemented ISSA Guidelines will from 2017 be able to apply for recognition by the ISSA of their achievements.

Through the ISSA Centre for Excellence, the ISSA aims to strengthen its value for all ISSA member institutions and to effectively support the global movement towards universal coverage. ISSA is committed to work closely with each member institution in overcoming the challenges it faces to respond to the call for improved and extended social security.

The exchange between ISSA member institutions, learning from each other and the sharing of innovations is what makes the ISSA thrive and what brings progress to social security worldwide.

I should therefore extend a warm invitation to all of you to attend the most important event in the life of our Association, the ISSA World Social Security Forum which will take place from 14-18 November in Panama-City, Panama, and will feature a number of important highlights:

  • Presentation of 10 key challenges and trends in social security
  • A discussion on leadership and innovation in ICT, human resources and service delivery
  • An excellence day featuring ISSA services for members
  • An analysis of the positive impact of social security and discussions on key issues in health care, pensions, employment and family benefits
  • The Social Security Summit bringing together Ministers and representatives of international organizations
  • In addition, the World Forum is the occasion for all ISSA members to come together at the ISSA General Assembly and will also be the venue for the elections of new ISSA officers.

 

I should encourage you to attend this event, meet your colleagues from around the world and shape the future of social security and our Association.

Let me close by highlighting again the relevance of this Technical Seminar and the topics that will be discussed in the coming one and a half days. I am convinced that you will find these exchanges highly interesting and I hope that this will be encouraging further Seminars and workshops in the region in the future.

And the final word should be to thank once again our host organization as well as the ISSA Liaison Office for facilitating this exceptional gathering here. I look forward to the results of this Seminar, and to seeing you all again in Panama in November at the ISSA World Social Security Forum.

 

 

Honourable Minister,

Dr. Nourbakhsh, Managing Director of Iranian Social Security Organization,

Mr. Kumar, Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the ISSA Liaison Office for South Asia,

Distinguished Delegates,

Dear colleagues and friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me start by thanking the Iranian Social Security Organization (ISSO) for generously having offered to host this Technical Seminar and the National Organizing Committee for having spared no efforts in preparing an exceptional environment and warm welcome for all seminar participants.

Our particular gratitude goes to Dr. Nourbakhsh, the Managing Director of the Iranian Social Security Organization for his personal commitment to the ISSA and his leadership in the hosting of this event. In fact, I have for a long time been looking forward to visiting Iran, and it is indeed a privilege and a great pleasure to be here today in beautiful Tehran with colleagues and friends from Iran, South Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific regions.

For the ISSA as a global organization, regional collaboration and the exchange of good practices, experiences and lessons learnt in comparable contexts is of high importance. For this purpose, and with the great support and input by member organizations that characterizes our unique Association, we have established a network of 17 regional structures around the world. And one of these structures is the Liaison Office for South Asia. Hosted by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation of India, this Liaison Office serves member institutions in the region and contributes to enhanced collaboration among them.

Let me take this occasion to thank the Director General of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, Mr. Deepak Kumar, for the commitment to host this Liaison Office. I also wish to also express our gratitude to Mr. Arun Kumar, the Liaison Officer for South Asia, who has worked in an exemplary manner together with the ISSA Secretariat and the host organization in the preparation of this Seminar. Also in the name of my colleagues in the Secretariat in Geneva, I should like to sincerely thank you for this.

This Seminar is very timely, for two important reasons. First of all because of the significant efforts to extend and improve social security coverage globally and in particular in the region of Asia.  Importantly, these efforts are accompanied by, and also are dependent on, a commitment to improved governance of social security schemes, organizational performance, strengthened human resources and the efficient use of ICT.

This is clearly reflected in the responses to the ISSA member survey carried out during 2015 and to which more than 82% of ISSA members provided input. In the Asia and the Pacific region, managing technological innovation, extending coverage, improving service accessibility and quality and enhancing governance ranked highly among the challenges expressed by ISSA member institutions.

The agenda of our Seminar will take up these challenges by focussing on good governance and ICT, human resources and organizational change as well as the extension of coverage. Featuring the experiences from various member institutions, I am convinced that the technical programme we have prepared will be of high interest to all participants. In this regard, let me also welcome the representatives of the National Pension Service of Korea, the institution that has won the ISSA Good Practice Award for Asia and the Pacific last year for its achievements in the implementation of bilateral agreements and the protection of migrant workers.

A special welcome also to the delegates from the Employees Provident Fund of Nepal and from the Social Security Organisation of Malaysia, who will share interesting national experiences with us during the course of this seminar

Recent global experience in extending and improving social security protection has once again demonstrated that both political commitment and high administrative performance are key ingredients for success.

In this regard, our host organization serves as an excellent example. Social security protection through retirement, disability and survivor benefits, unemployment, sickness, maternity and accident benefits are defined as a right for each citizen in the Iranian Constitution. Reflecting this commitment at the highest level is the awareness among policymakers and the Iranian people of the importance of social security protection and the positive role of social security as an investment in human capital and thus in the development of the country.

The Iranian Social Security Organization’s commitment to high performance in administration ensures that the legal principles and political objectives turn into real access and benefits for people.

To facilitate this objective, learning from other countries and international exchange is vital. In this regard, the Iranian Social Security Organization plays a strong role in our Association. As an active member in the ISSA Bureau, the ISSA’s governing body, over many years, you have contributed to shaping the ISSA’s programme and development. Through your interest in the work of our Technical Commissions, the participation in the ISSA taskforce on the extension of coverage, the attendance of key ISSA conferences or the submission of good practices, you have demonstrated your commitment to sharing experiences. And through your attention to the ISSA Guidelines and the commitment to use the services of the Centre for Excellence, you show your determination to implement international best practice for the benefit of your population. I wish to congratulate you on this commitment to excellence and look forward to your continued close involvement in the broad range of ISSA activities.

There are high expectations to all of us, as social security administrations, to strive for high service levels and ensure well governed, high performing institutions.

These expectations stem from the strong political commitment to the extension of coverage, reflected in the ILO Recommendation for Social Protection Floors and most recently in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. This global commitment is based on a shared understanding that social security has a significant positive impact on individuals as well as on a country’s social and economic development.

At the national level, this international policy consensus is reflected in enhanced efforts to extend coverage and improve social security in many countries of South Asia and the wider region of Asia and the Pacific.  The ISSA Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and the Pacific held one year ago in Oman showed many examples of this development and confirmed that we are currently witnessing one of the most dynamic movements towards the extension of coverage ever.

While, as a result, many more formal sector populations already enjoy social security protection, we must strengthen our efforts to also cover those that are more difficult to reach, who have characteristics that make them hard to cover or that have low contributory capacity.

Importantly, all experiences in successful coverage extension highlight the importance of administrative excellence. Overcoming barriers often involves innovation, creativity and flexibility in taking into account the special social, labour market and economic characteristics of target populations.

I am pleased to report that the ISSA has during the past years considerably developed its services to effectively support social security institutions in working towards administrative improvements. In this context, let me briefly introduce to you the ISSA Guidelines and our Centre for Excellence.

Launched at the World Social Security Forum in 2013, the ISSA Centre for Excellence is a comprehensive package of relevant knowledge and practical services designed to assist member institutions.

The cornerstone of the Centre consists of the ISSA Guidelines for social security administration. These international professional standards prepared under the auspices of the ISSA’s Technical Commissions are based on international best practice and provide a unique reference material for the management and experts of member institutions.

ISSA-Guidelines are currently available for Good Governance, Service Quality, ICT, Contribution Collection and Compliance, Investment of Social Security Funds, Prevention, Workplace Heath Promotion and Return to Work and Reintegration.

The feedback by ISSA member institutions on these Guidelines has been enthusiastic during the current triennium. Many member institutions are already implementing or planning to implement Guidelines and only two years after their launch they lead the impact table of all ISSA services. I am particularly pleased that institutions in South Asia have also signalled their commitment and interest in the ISSA Guidelines, and I wish to here also thank our host organization, the ISSO, for having taken the initiative to translate ISSA Guidelines into Farsi so as to strengthen their usability and impact in Iran and beyond.

Based on the positive feedback by the global ISSA membership on the existing Guidelines, I am proud to announce the launch of four new Guidelines on the occasion of the ISSA World Social Security Forum in Panama this November, namely on Communication by Social Security Administrations, Administrative Solutions for the Extension of Coverage, Actuarial Work and Sustainable Employment.

As part of the ISSA Centre for Excellence, the Guidelines are complemented by a range of relevant and effective support and capacity-building services:

  • On-line self-assessment tools that allow member institutions to assess their situation with reference to the Guidelines;
  • Workshops of the ISSA Academy that offer the opportunity to identify solutions to concrete problems through a facilitated member-to-member exchange and the input of an international expert;
  • The ISSA Diploma Learning Programme that offers in-depth learning opportunities in collaboration with our training consortium, including for instance the Training Centre of the ILO;
  • And throughout the work with the Guidelines, the ISSA Technical Support service provides technical advice and access to relevant experts;
  • Finally, member institutions that have successfully implemented ISSA Guidelines will from 2017 be able to apply for recognition by the ISSA of their achievements.

Through the ISSA Centre for Excellence, the ISSA aims to strengthen its value for all ISSA member institutions and to effectively support the global movement towards universal coverage. ISSA is committed to work closely with each member institution in overcoming the challenges it faces to respond to the call for improved and extended social security.

The exchange between ISSA member institutions, learning from each other and the sharing of innovations is what makes the ISSA thrive and what brings progress to social security worldwide.

I should therefore extend a warm invitation to all of you to attend the most important event in the life of our Association, the ISSA World Social Security Forum which will take place from 14-18 November in Panama-City, Panama, and will feature a number of important highlights:

  • Presentation of 10 key challenges and trends in social security
  • A discussion on leadership and innovation in ICT, human resources and service delivery
  • An excellence day featuring ISSA services for members
  • An analysis of the positive impact of social security and discussions on key issues in health care, pensions, employment and family benefits
  • The Social Security Summit bringing together Ministers and representatives of international organizations
  • In addition, the World Forum is the occasion for all ISSA members to come together at the ISSA General Assembly and will also be the venue for the elections of new ISSA officers.

 

I should encourage you to attend this event, meet your colleagues from around the world and shape the future of social security and our Association.

Let me close by highlighting again the relevance of this Technical Seminar and the topics that will be discussed in the coming one and a half days. I am convinced that you will find these exchanges highly interesting and I hope that this will be encouraging further Seminars and workshops in the region in the future.

And the final word should be to thank once again our host organization as well as the ISSA Liaison Office for facilitating this exceptional gathering here. I look forward to the results of this Seminar, and to seeing you all again in Panama in November at the ISSA World Social Security Forum.

 

 

 

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