2022 ended with an increase in the debate, interest and momentum of the social and solidarity economy as the alternative to the cause of the inequalities that the world is facing nowadays: extractivism, racism, poverty, famine, patriarchy, unemployment… Call it as you want, solidarity should be the value that guides this transformation. In a historic breakthrough, the International Labour Conference (ILC) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) at its 110th session in June 2022 held, for the first time, a general discussion on decent work and the social and solidarity economy. This landmark event was also the first high-level debate in the UN system on the subject.

On December 13, 2022, many international actors of the Social and Solidarity Economy as well as governments representatives gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York around this rising international recognition hosted by the United Nations Task Force for SSE (UNTFSSE) and the governments of Senegal, Chile, Spain and France. The event was called How can the International Recognition of the Social and Solidarity Economy help achieve the SDGs through social and inclusive innovation?

Ripess was there together with GSEF, ILO, WIEGO and countries such as Dominican Republic, Morocco, Indonesia, Mongolia, Argentina, Slovenia, Costa Rica,  all reaffirming the importance of the SSE for the achievement of the ODGs and highlighting the positive impact that a United Nations General Assembly resolution on the SSE would bring. 

During this meeting there were also imputs on “What is SSE and why is it important for the UN“, where it was clear that these practices represent a model in which communities, entities and organisations emphasize the creativity and innovation towards the promotion of social inclusion, resilience and sustainability of local communities. They contribute significantly to improve the quality of life of local communities and their economic activities as well as increasing their incomes, as the Slovenian representative explained. 

Yvon Poirier brought the work of Ripess for more than the last 20 years at an intercontinental level, referring to when the SSE was not so well known. Being part of the Pact for Impact, promoted by France as soil for the member states debates; we have succeeded in pushing the work to a UN level since its very beginning in 2012 as well as in the high level political forums. 

When in 2019 UN announced that Agenda 2030 was not reachable anymore despite many people struggling to reach it, it pushed us to work harder on making SSE viewed as the tool to overcome these difficulties and inequalities that grew wider after the COVID crisis amongst people and countries. In the last decade we have been present through our advocacy work with the UNTFSSE in collaboration with other actors so SSE is recognised at a global level and firstly by the UN. This is why we recommend an official recognition after so long that the SSE has existed as the only model of life for so many communities around the world, sustained by solidarity and mutual aid, providing holistic solutions in so many different contexts urging for collective work and people-centered economies.

Without SSE the world won’t be able to reach the ODGs in a moment when they are more needed than ever. Cooperation amongst countries and the support of international organisations such as the UN will make this change happen more quickly.