Technical Seminar on Administrative and Operational Efficiency Iranian Social Security Organization (ISSO) Tehran, I.R. Iran, 30-31August 2016
Opening Speech by: Dr. Seyed Taghi Nourbakhsh, Managing Director of the Iranian Social Security Organization (ISSO)
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen
I would like to extend a gracious and inclusive welcome to all of you, especially to Mr. Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Secretary General of the International Social Security Association (ISSA). It is my honor to open the ISSA Technical Seminar on administrative and operational efficiency, here in Tehran.
The meeting where we have to look back assessing our achievements and lessons learned in implementing the latest social security trends in the fields of ICT, human resources, organizational structure and extension of coverage and where we have to look ahead and agree a long term collaboration, thus providing a framework for the future work in line with ISSA policies and guidelines.
We, all, acknowledge that concepts such as welfare and social security, especially when accompanied by a social element, are concepts being born through global transformations and this is the reason why they are intertwined with complex social interpretations. In this concept, social welfare can be depicted as a multi-facet political, social and economic concept aiming to protect the dignity of individuals, maintain the responsibility of the society toward them and promote the capabilities of the society, both in an individualistic and collective sense. It is also worth mentioning that social welfare is a diverse and intricate institution. According to ISSA definition: “Social Welfare is a system which provides assistance to needy individuals and families so as to provide for them a better health, life and backgrounds necessary to help their capabilities and talents grow”.
Fortunately, in Iran, and pursuant to the notification of Islamic Republic of Iran’s General Policies by the Supreme Leader, there has been paid due attention to establish a comprehensive social security system in recent years. The outcome would be the provision of more protections for the deprived population, facilitation in poverty reduction mechanisms along with more supports to public entities and charities which can help highlight the role of Islamic Republic of Iran in national and international welfare and social security order.
The current projects on national development are in particular modern and progressive programs which are evolved following the adoption of the Comprehensive Welfare and Social Security System Structure Act in 2004. This was a head start of the need “to change the attitudes”. The adoption of Development Plans was the first step which requires the public will of organizations, institutes and universities to be implemented effectively. This calls for a joint participation of people and NGOs in the development process. However, the significant role of competent authorities and organizations in designing due mechanisms cannot be ignored. Today, the realities of the world and the means to recognize these realities are changing. Challenges such as a boom in old-age population and sustainability of social security resources have been put on the agenda of the most social security systems around the world.
This Seminar has been set up to address three main issues of great importance for each and every social security system: ICT, human resources, organizational structure and extension of coverage.
The Iranian Social Security Organization (ISSO) is the main social insurer in Iran with the mission of extending insurance coverage to wage earners (as compulsory coverage) and self-employed population (as voluntary coverage). Right now, SSO has provided insurance coverage (for, both, main and dependent insured population) to nearly 42 million beneficiaries (approximately, half of the Iran’s population) which has made Iranian Social Security Organization as one of the largest insurer organizations in the Region. The main achievement for the Social Security Organization has been the extending of insurance coverage to 95% of its working population in the formal market and to 51% of those working in the informal market, depicting a figure of 75% insurance coverage in total.
According to the Iranian Social Security Act, ISSO is a non-governmental public organization which is mainly financed by the (employee, employer) contributions. Thus, ISSO assets and funds belong to future generations and cannot be embedded within other governmental or nongovernmental organizations. ISSO is based on a tripartite principle (employer, employee and government) in making macro decisions and financial issues.
Codifying the Strategic Plan of Social Security Organization in line with reforming the structure, reorganizational process and promoting organizational capacities with the purpose of making ISSO an effective active agent to increase synergy among insurance, health and investment sections of the Organization has been one of the remarkable achievements of ISSO to establish a pioneer social security system based on the principles of Good Governance.
ISSO has recognized ICT development mechanisms as a leading feature to help build a developed social security system in accordance with Iranian and Islamic culture, ethics and principles. Displaying a great performance in developing ICT mechanisms, ISSO was known as the most excellent electronic organization in the fifth National Festival of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), 2015.
The major achievements of the ISSO in line with the themes of the conference includes:
We believe that international interactions and maintaining sustainable collaboration in social security would facilitate global innovation and would empower us, all to have a better understanding of our capabilities in international era. Your presence here today indicates that the global community will do so and is ready to translate the ISSA’s vision into a reality. I need to thank International Social Security Association in their efforts to promote the knowledge of social security and the exchange of experience among the members. I wish these efforts would last and be promoted.
In conclusion, I would like to say that it is a great honor for the Iranian Social Security Organization to host this Meeting of the ISSA members in Tehran. I wish you, all, a very good time in Tehran.