Sustainable development goals, population ageing, and social security in Asia

There is a growing recognition that social security systems with a wide scope and comprehensive coverage are an essential part of sustainable development and an ambition worth pursuing vigorously. This is also the case in countries with traditionally family-oriented support frameworks such as Asia. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, agreed by world leaders in 2015, put nationally appropriate social security programs at the centre of the Sustainable Development Goals, which replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The SDGs envision: (i) social protection with substantial coverage of the poor and vulnerable that insure against economic shocks and address inequality (SDG1 and SDG10); (ii) universally provided health programs, that insure against health shocks and offer access to quality essential health-care services and medicines, and an adequately resourced health workforce (SDG3); and (iii) social programs that recognise the gender dimension of unpaid care via appropriate public services and infrastructure (SDG 5) (UN 2015a).