Judith Hitchman, President of Urgenci, RIPESS member, and Yvon Poirier, vice coordinator of RIPESS, participated in the Symposium on “SSE AS A MEANS TO IMPLEMENT THE SDGs” (Sustainable Development Goals).

The objective of the meeting was to share knowledge and thoughts about the future Action plan the UN Taskforce foreseen for 2017. The Position Statement Paper “Realizing the 2030 Agenda through Social and Solidarity Economy” published by the Taskforce in July 2016, clearly identifies the potential of SSE in all 17 Goals.

The meeting was an important occasion for RIPESS to develop stronger relationships with various UN Agencies as well as with other SSE organizations. All participants in the meeting clearly expressed a strong will to continue working towards implementing the SDG’s with an SSE approach. The meeting was also an occasion to clarify the exact nature of SSE, its vision and principles. As SSE gathers steam, many participants, including people from UN Agencies, suggested we should collectively concentrate our efforts to ensure that SSE is promoted more, given the rise of social entrepreneurship.

RIPESS also made significant contributions to the contents of two different sessions during the day:

  • Judith Hitchman was a presenter in the session “From your perspective, how does the SSE contribute to implement the SDGs? What policies are in place or would be needed to facilitate this? What could the UNTFSSE do to contribute to provide SSE the right enabling environment?”; She intervened on behalf of URGENCI and explained how social movements have been contributing consistently to policy in the Committee on Food Security since 2012, with many indirect but clear references in policy to SSE practices, and how CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is true responsible production and consumption, and produces far less waste (approx. 6%) compared to large scale industrial food systems where waste is more than 55%). She explained how CSA and SSE in general also combat climate change through the relocalisation of the economy.
  • Yvon Poirier intervened on SSE and public policies, and insisted on the importance of the process of building public policies. To ensure success, a multi-stakeholder approach for co-constructing of the policies, is essential. He underlined the wide scope of existing SEE public policies around the world, and emphasized the need to defend them in those countries where they are currently under threat.

In the minutes of the Symposium, a quote from Judith Hitchman is highlighted.

We need a system change, not charity. Judith Hitchman (Urgenci)