The Social Protection Floor has become a widely pertinent concept that helps ensure that global discussions - whether political, economic or environmental - do not sidestep important social protection considerations. As such, the Social Protection Floor approach has been widely recognized and accepted at numerous international, regional and national conferences.
The last G20 Summit, which took place in Paris in September 2011, led to a declaration of support for the implementation of worldwide social protection floors. G20 countries committed to extending their own social protection coverage through the expansion of social protection floors according to each country-specific situation and internationally agreed principles. They also encouraged international donors to devote some Official Development Aid to strengthening social protection floors in low-income countries while respecting the individual approaches these countries wish to take with regard to implementation.
Meanwhile, the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) offers a unique opportunity to acknowledge the link between social protection and environmental policy and to stress the importance of national social protection floors in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. As such, the Zero Draft of the Outcome Document for the Rio+20 Conference puts forth paragraph 77 on the Social Protection Floor. This document will be discussed in June 2012, during the Rio+20 Conference taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
As national social protection floors have the potential to promote both long-term resilience and human development, they constitute a powerful policy tool not only for helping populations withstand climate change but also for achieving the Millenium Development Goals by 2015 and beyond. Current efforts focus on tying the Social Protection Floor to the post-2015 agenda in order to ensure that social protection remains an integral part of the global discourse and of national activities.