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UNRISD Researcher receives ILO award

19 Jun 2007



On 15 June 2007, the International Labour Organization awarded its first annual Decent Work Research Prize to the eminent academic and specialist in social security, Carmelo Mesa-Lago, and to Nobel peace laureate and former South African President Nelson Mandela, citing their contributions to improving the lives of people around the world.

Mr. Mesa-Lago, who has carried out research for several UNRISD projects over the past 15 years, received his award for major scholarly contributions to the analysis of socioeconomic relationships and policy instruments for the advancement of decent work, in particular on social security and pension reform.

Mr. Mesa-Lago's most recent research for UNRISD was for the Social Policy and Development programme. He is the author of "Models of development, social policy and reform in Latin America" (chapter 8 in the book Social Policy and the Development Context ). He has also authored "Achieving and sustaining social development with limited resources: The experience of Costa Rica", a chapter in the book Social Development and Public Policy: A Study of Some Successful Experiences.

Mr. Mesa-Lago, who is also Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, was cited for having had, with his research, a notable impact on social security and pension reform processes in Latin America for many years.

In his address on receiving the award, Mesa-Lago referred to the "millions of workers and peasants in Latin America who suffer from lack of coverage or poor protection against social risks" and expressed the hope that social security "coverage is substantially expanded in the next decade through a combined effort from the ILO, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and other international organizations, as well as all countries represented in this Conference".