Erica Gerretsen, Director of Human Development, Migration, Governance, and Peace giving her closing remarks

The power of collaboration has emerged as a crucial factor in addressing complex global challenges, stressed Erica Gerretsen during her closing remarks (28 June) for the international symposium on the SP&PFM Programme’s achievements. Gerretsen is the Director for Human Development, Migration, Governance and Peace at the European Commission’s Department for International Partnerships. 

“This innovative partnership has achieved impressive results in improving synergies between social protection and public finance management, supporting 17 countries in their COVID-19 response, improving the lives of millions and demonstrating that social protection is not only a human right but also an investment” she said.

The Programme’s many activities aimed at improving people’s lives and strengthening countries’ responses to crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have achieved compelling results through innovative partnerships and a shared vision of progress, Gerretsen emphasized as she commended the results. She highlighted the improvement in synergies between social protection and public finance management in 17 countries. And she expressed satisfaction with the long-standing collaboration on social protection between the European Commission, the International Labour Organization, the Global Coalition of Social Protection Floors and UNICEF—the Programme’s implementing partners.

As Gerretsen pointed out, partnerships have been instrumental in driving positive change, along with active civil society involvement in social protection endeavours. By valuing the voices of people and recognizing the diverse needs and contexts of each country, collaboration has paved the way for inclusive and effective solutions, she said.

The uniqueness of the Programme’s design, she added, brings together diverse perspectives and expertise that generates new knowledge, information and actionable strategies for partner countries. This collaborative approach has proven to be a catalyst for positive change, fostering stronger institutions and building resilience in the face of emerging challenges.

Gerretsen concluded that “As Europeans, social protection, or as we call it, social security, is our comparative advantage, and we have a lot of internal experience we want to continue sharing with all the partners around the world”. As the world will continue to face complex global challenges, strong partnerships will be key to the expansion of social protection.

Listen to the closing session here.