The "Cotonou Declaration" returned by INSP ! R-Togo to government partners and Togolese civil society
Publié le jeudi 9 septembre 2021, par Gabinho
At the initiative of the Togolese branch of INSP ! R (Réseau International Network Social Protection Rigths-Togo), supported by WSM (We Social Movements) of Belgium, around thirty government actors (Direction Générale de la Protection Sociale and member of the National Committee for the Promotion of Social Protection, Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Ministry of Grassroots Development, Youth and Youth Employment, National Social Security Fund, etc.), Social partners and civil society organizations (focal points of member organizations of INSP ! R-TOGO, National Institute of Health Insurance and representatives of four central unions (CSTT, CNTT, UNSIT and UGSL)) were in a workshop to report on the impact of “the regional workshop on strategies for extending social protection with the involvement of social movements and civil society in Africa”, on September 2 and 3, 2021 at FOPADESC in Agoè-Nyivé in the in the northern suburbs of Lomé.
As the title of this meeting indicates, it was a question for the heads of INSP ! R - Togo to "organize the restitution of common learning (training and exchange) between the INSP ! R-Africa network, technical executives from ministerial departments in charge of social protection at the national level of West African countries (Benin, Burkina-Faso, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Togo and Ghana) and executives from continental regional institutions (AU , ECOWAS, UEMOA) during the regional workshop held in June 2021 in Cotonou, Benin ”,“ Share and appropriate the visions and policies of social protection of African social movements, (CSOs / Unions), continental organizations African organizations (AU, ECOWAS, UEMOA) and those of international organizations (ILO and UNICEF) ”and finally,“ to draw up an implementation plan for the recommendations of the “Cotonou Declaration” ”.
In his words at the opening of this meeting, the National Director of Social Protection, told the participants that “social protection is not only a human right recognized as such at the national and international levels but also a tool of choice in the quest for economic well-being and social cohesion for inclusive and sustainable development. All development actors now agree on the essential role of social protection as the tool par excellence in the fight against poverty and the various forms of vulnerability. This justifies the preponderant place it occupies in the various development strategies ". He therefore noted the fact that out of the “seventeen (17) sustainable development goals of the United Nations 2030 agenda, social protection is linked to at least nine (09) namely : SDG 1- no poverty, SDG 2- zero hunger, SDG 3- good health and well-being, SDG 4-quality education, SDG 5-gender equality, SDG 6- clean water and sanitation, SDG 8- decent work and economic growth, SDG 10- reduced inequalities, SDG 16- peace, justice and strong institutions ”.
And to testify to the interest that the government, according to him grants to the fight of INSP ! R-Togo, in favor of social protection, he mentioned "the third strategic axis of the National Development Plan (PND) 2018 -2022 relating to the consolidation of social development and the strengthening of inclusion mechanisms and aims to guarantee the realization of all rights and freedoms in order to strengthen social cohesion ”. From this political commitment of the Togolese government he comes to the conclusion that, "the expression of political will in favor of social protection is therefore unequivocal. In practice, in addition to contributory social protection schemes, a multitude of non-contributory programs and projects, in particular social transfer programs (monetary and non-monetary), free-of-charge measures, price subsidy measures and reinforcement programs employability are implemented in our country ”.
However, he admits that "the level of coverage of these social protection schemes and programs remains low", something that will correct the government’s commitment to a project he says "ambitious to extend social protection. The process of setting up universal health insurance is underway as well as that of the effective implementation of the pensions branch of the general social security system for the benefit of actors in the informal sector ", among others.
After listing the enormous challenges faced despite the efforts of the government but also of social movements, he invited the seminarians to work for "a common understanding and an appropriation of the recommendations of the" Cotonou Declaration "to help implement them" .
Before him, it is the General Coordinator of INSP ! R-Togo, Yves Dossou, who in an introductory word noted that "social protection is no longer a privilege for a tiny minority of Togolese citizens but a right for all regardless of social rank, ideological and ethnic or even political affiliation. The way to get there is crystallizing ”. Also, he acknowledged, that "the government’s social protection policy generally responds to the rights and legitimate aspirations of Togolese citizens. This explains the commitment of INSP ! R-Togo alongside the government to meet this common challenge of a social dynamic at the heart of the National Development Plan (PND) 2018-2022 for social transformation ".
Among other activities that furnished the two days of work, there were presentations and debates, on "The vision and actions of WSM and INSP ! R AFRICA on the extension strategies of Social Protection with the involvement of social movements and CSOs in the effective extension of Social Protection in Africa ”,“ Initiatives for the establishment of UHC in Togo : what role for social movements ? "," Strategies for recruiting workers from the informal economy to social security in Togo "," Strategies for extending health insurance to actors in the informal economy in Togo ", and" Policies and strategies for extending social protection and the involvement of social movements (CSOs / Unions) at the level of continental and regional bodies (AU, ECOWAS, UEMOA) and at the level of the ILO / ILO ”.