Development Centre

Media Advisory - Conference - Inclusive Social Protection Systems in Asia and the Pacific


OECD Development Centre - Paris, 2 April 2019


Open to the media

11-12 April 2019

United Nations Conference Centre, Meeting Room H - Bangkok, Thailand


Over the past 20 years, many countries in the Asia-Pacific region have achieved impressive economic growth, which has contributed to dramatic declines in poverty and overall improvements in living standards. Nevertheless, income inequality has risen; the Gini coefficient is around 0.36 on average in Asia and Pacific countries, compared with 0.32 in the OECD. Moreover, quality jobs remain scarce, with the majority of workers in informal employment, and only a small proportion of the region’s ageing population will have access to a pension.


Social protection is emerging as a key mechanism for ensuring that the region’s prosperity is shared today and into the future. Countries have introduced new and innovative programmes to reduce poverty among regions, groups and individuals excluded from economic growth. In recent years, there has been increased focus on establishing social protection systems that combine social assistance with social insurance and active labour market policies to promote comprehensive coverage across the life cycle. In this way, governments are seeking to ensure sustained declines in poverty and inclusive economic growth. Nonetheless, social protection spending remains too low in most countries to achieve the desired impacts.


These topics will be at the heart of the debate at a two-day conference in Bangkok, Thailand on 11-12 April 2019. Government officials and experts from countries across the region as well as regional and international organisations will gather to exchange experiences, best practices and evidence on how to develop and extend inclusive social protection systems, policies and programmes.


Speakers include:

  • Patrik Andersson, Acting Director, Social Development Division, UNESCAP
  • Samheng Boros, Secretary of State, Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, Cambodia
  • Juergen Hohmann, Social Protection Expert, DG DEVCO, EU
  • Norma Mansor, Emeritus Professor and Director, Social Wellbeing Research Centre, University of Malaya
  • Bounfeng Phoummalaysith, Director General, National Health Insurance Bureau, Ministry of Health, Lao PDR
  • Alexander Pick, Economist, OECD Development Centre
  • Caroline Tassot, Economist, OECD Development Centre
  • Dao Quang Vinh, Director General, Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs, Viet Nam


The conference is jointly organised by, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the OECD Development Centre, the International Labour Organization, SOCIEUX+ and the EU Social Protection Systems Programme.


Further information, including a full agenda, is available on the conference website


Join the conversation on Twitter: @OECD_Centre with #ISPSBangkok


To register attendance or submit interview requests journalists should contact Bochra Kriout in the OECD Development Centre Media Office (Tel.:+33 1 45 24 82 96).


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