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USP2030: Looking back and moving forward



On the 7th May 2024 the Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (USP2030), members convened to discuss the work achieved by partners over the past year and reassessed the next steps to achieve universal social protection by 2030 (SDG 1.3).


USP2030 has a number of key working groups:

  • Financing Social Protection
  • Social Protection and Food Systems Transformation
  • Digital Convergence Initiative
  • Social Protection and Climate Change

Each group is led by an organisation who over the duration of the meeting reported on their progress over the past year. The Financing Social Protection Working Group advocated for sustainable financing mechanisms through joint statements and advocacy events, while those working on food systems argued for more effective communications and collaboration. The Digital Convergence Initiative reported that it has been facilitating knowledge exchange events to leverage digital technologies.

The Climate Change group focused on the inclusion of social protection in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). Throughout the meeting the need for climate-resilient social protection garnered the most attention, in particular the opportunity to use climate financing as a key source of funding. The impacts of climate change make it ever more pressing for all countries to establish effective and comprehensive, universal lifecycle social security systems.

During the meeting, a proposal emerged to establish a new working group which will focus on integrated approaches to decent work and social protection. The new working group will ensure alignment with the processes of the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions (GA), and that social protection activities within the GA adhere to USP2030 principles. The GA supports the implementation of national development strategies and reinforces the importance of social policies for sustainable development and just transitions. A short presentation demonstrated the strong linkages between USP2030 and the GA, with discussions centring on the progress made so far through technical assistance provided within implementing countries. The presentation ended with a renewed sentiment towards the importance of social protection as an entry point for GA activities, but also the need for sustainable financing mechanisms to support advancements.

In conclusion, the USP2030 remains steadfast in its commitment to realising SDG 1.3. However, time is running out to achieve universal social protection (USP) by 2030. Despite growing global interest in universal social protection and advocacy for an inclusive, rights-based approach, it is essential to transition from discussion to concrete action. Fiscal constraints are often cited as the main barrier to achieving universality, yet growing evidence points towards how USP is both financially feasible and sustainable. National efforts must focus on implementing USP, including the introduction of broad-based USP social protection floors. Additionally, all USP2030 members should commit to promoting universality in their policy dialogue within low- and middle-income countries, moving away from advocacy that supports harmful poor relief measures.

While there is a long way to go before, we achieve universality, the increasing number of members and initiatives from the working groups show the potential for USP2023 to bring significant change. We look forward to continuing to engage with the Partnership and ensuring that everyone’s right to social security and a dignified life are met by 2030.