Webinar on Social Justice and Social Protection in the Arab Region
ESCWA is organizing in cooperation with the Center on International cooperation in New York University a series of webinars that aim at cultivating the culture of social justice and discuss related issues and principles that must be taken into consideration during the design and implementation of public policies and programmes. The webinars address select social and economic policies that are considered key to achieve social justice in the Arab region, particularly in light of the increasing repercussions of COVID-19. The webinars further aim to present a set of tools and guides developed by ESCWA to enhance member countries’ capacities in integrating the concepts of social justice in public policies and programmes.
The first webinar was held on 20 January 2021. It focused on social protection policies as critical tools for achieving social justice. It offered an opportunity for government officials to exchange experiences about promising policies and programmes on social protection from the region and the world and discuss the mechanisms and reforms that can be applied so that these policies contribute to the achievement of social justice.
The webinar gathered a number of officials, concerned with social protection programmes, representing ministries and governmental entities from several member countries. The webinar concluded with a set of messages and recommendations that emphasized the following: (1) the importance of integrating social justice principles, namely rights, equity, equality and participation in the design and implementation of social protection policies; (2) Social protection policies should be part of a wider framework of inclusive and integrated social policies; (3) The right mix of policies and programmes is country-specific and highly dependent on the country’s context, reality and priorities and should be designed using a participatory approach; (4) sustaining efforts to reach all social groups and leave no one behind, and ensuring a transparent fiscal space for implementing social protection programmes; (5) A mix of universal and targeted social protection programmes is required to address inequality while ensuring buy-in across society.