A High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) side-event that took place on July 5th discussed the role of the social and solidarity economy in building back better and promoting sustainable development.
It was organized by RIPESS Intercontinental, in partnership with the United Nations Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) and the governments of France, Spain and Malaysia. This online side-event was an official side event of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF2022). The HLPF is an annual event and platform of the United Nations organized for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. This year’s edition focused on “Building back better from COVID- 19 while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
The side event was entitled “Building back better and promoting sustainable development via Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE)“, and discussed the role of the SSE in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda in building back better after the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was moderated by Ms. Judith Hitchman, member of the International Committee of URGENCI and International Network Joint Coordinator for RIPESS Intercontinental. The panel featured ten internationally renowned experts and policy makers from different international organizations and governments; there were approximately over 70 participants from around the world.
The panelists’ interventions reflected on international milestones achieved at international level. These include the adoption of the Resolution and conclusions concerning decent work and the SSE at the 110th International Labour Conference (ILC) of the International Labour Organization and the Recommendation on the SSE and social innovation by the OECD Council. They also provided updates on the recent advances towards a UN General Assembly resolution on the SSE and sustainable development. Some advances at regional, national and local levels were discussed, including the launch of the European Union action plan on social economy ,and other initiatives at the national and local levels.
Ms. Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief of the UNCTAD Office in New York and Deputy Chair of the UNTFSSE, recalled that the attainment of the SDGs is offtrack due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme geopolitical tensions and armed conflicts. She noted that the promotion of partnerships and mobilization of alternative economy organizations and enterprises, including SSE entities, is key to facilitating transformational change. Ms. Carpentier framed the debate within the work of the UNTFSSE and explained its priorities and ongoing action plan.
Ms. Valentina Verze, Technical Officer for the SSE and decent work at the ILO, presented the Resolution and Conclusions concerning decent work and the SSE that were adopted at the 110th ILC of the ILO. Ms. Verze noted that the conclusions include a tripartite definition of the SSE at international level. They provide guidelines to the ILO constituents and the Office in advancing the SSE at the service of decent work and a people- and planet- centred future of work.
Ms. Toni Moore, General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union and Spokesperson of the workers’ group during the ILC General Discussion, contributed the workers’ organizations point of view, highlighting the prominent role of SSE entities in advancing workers’ rights and decent work, especially for workers operating in the informal economy, as well as their importance from a human rights-based point of view.
Ms. Antonella Noya, Head of the Unit on Social Economy and Innovation at the OECD, noted that the recently adopted OECD Recommendation on SSE and social innovation is based on nine building blocks that provide the conditions for the SSE to thrive and help address challenges that affect the SSE. Ms. Noya added that the Recommendation capitalizes on the guidance provided in OECD/EU Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool, that is used to review social economy frameworks in OECD Member countries, EU Member States, and beyond.
Mr. Arnaud Boulanger, Senior Officer of the French Ministry of Economy and Finance presented the Pact for Impact Alliance, a platform for the promotion of dialogue and synergies and the advancement of the SSE at international level.
Ms. Maravillas Espín, General Director of Self-Employment, Social Economy and Corporate Social Responsibility at the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy of Spain, spoke about the engagement of the Spanish government in the advancement of SSE at national, regional and international levels. She pointed out the support of Spain towards the tabling of a UN resolution on the SSE and sustainable development. Ms Espín remarked that “The time is now!” for us to create supportive ecosystems for the SSE.
Mr. Dato’ Mohammad Radhi bin Abdul Razak, Deputy Secretary General for Policy and Monitoring Sector at the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC), presented the national programme to promote social enterprises in Malaysia as a tool to advance human rights and respect for the nature.
Mr. Denison Jayasooria, former chair of the Asian Solidarity Economy Council (ASEC) and member of RIPESS, highlighted good practices of SSE entities in leaving no one behind in the Asian region and stressed the need to document and raise awareness about these good practices.
Ms. Fulvia Farinelli, Senior Economist in the Resident Coordinator Office of the United Nations in Argentina, discussed the regenerative role that the SSE can play in the creation of decent work and the advancement of just transition at territorial level. Ms. Farinelli added the importance of adopting a “one-UN approach” in promoting SSE at regional and national level.
Mr. André Luzzi, representative of the Habitat International Coalition and Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism, spoke about some experiences of food sovereignty and human rights of SSE entities in Brazil, that have been coordinated and self-managed with indigenous and local communities.
The recording of the session can be accessed in the YouTube channel of RIPESS Intercontinental and it is available in 3 different languages (English, French and Spanish).