From June 24th to 26th, RIPESS will be in Geneva (Switzerland) to attend this important international conference where the results and the role of the Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDS) will be discussed. Don’t miss all the details on the conference’s objectives and RIPESS’ participation.

How can the Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Can local SSE projects have an impact on global development? The answers to these questions and many more will be discussed at the International Conference “Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy?” that will take place on June 25th and 26th in Geneva (Switzerland). RIPESS members will present several papers and organize the parallel session “Building the SSE Movement from the Local to the Global”.

The conference, organized by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), was launched in 2018 by the United Nations Inter-Agency Working Group on the Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE), in which RIPESS actively participates. The event is a key forum to evaluate the results and the role of SSE in the implementation of the SDGs.

RIPESS’s work in advocacy since 1997 has been consistently aimed at promoting SSE in international forums as a vector of economic transformation from the local to the global. For RIPESS, it is fundamental to make the local experiences of communities in SSE and their impacts on the improvement of people’s lives visible.

SSE RIPESS grassroots experiences implementing the SDGs

A total of 51 local, regional and global SSE experiences from around the world that are contributing to the implementation of the SDGs will be presented at the international conference (you can read them here). In doing so, the UNTFSSE has aimed to identify and mobilize research from different regions and territories that can contribute to the Task Force’s efforts to scale up and promote SSE as means of implementation of the SDGs by critically examining the role of SSE.

Three projects submitted by RIPESS members were accepted by the conference organisers. One of these is “How Community Supported Agriculture contributes to the realisation of Solidarity Economy in the SDGs” by Judith Hitchman, President of Urgenci International Network of Community Supported Agriculture and Board member of RIPESS. It is a global study. In this paper, Judith shows the deep ramifications that are possible in the specific sector of Community Supported Agriculture and the SDGs, and how food is a recurrent cross-cutting issue throughout the SDGs in general, and how by building truly sustainable local food systems, we can genuinely anchor and implement the SDGs at local and territorial level.

Professor Denison Jayasooria, President of ASEC – RIPESS Asia will be presenting a paper on “Community Forestry Projects in Malaysia: People’s Participation in Implementing the SDGs“. In his paper, Professor Jayasooria explains a case in which Malaysia’s local indigenous native communities are directly involved in conserving their natural environment and generating income in a sustainable manner. This has an impact in the localization of several SDGs, including SDG 15 “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.

Finally, Yvon Poirier, from RIPESS North America will be presenting “Association for Sarva Seva Farms (ASSEFA) India: 50 years of Sustainable Development”. This association has helped to create thousands of self-sufficient villages mainly in the Indian region of Tamil Nadu. This was done firstly by acquiring land for the landless under collective ownership for agriculture and always in accordance with the principles and practices of SSE.

You can consult the time of Judith’s, Denison’s and Yvon’s interventions in the programme of the conference.

Parallel session presenting RIPESS

As part of the conference, RIPESS Intercontinental will be organising the working session “Building the SSE Movement from the Local to the Global” that will take place on Tuesday 25th of June at 12 pm.

The aim of this session is to present how the decentralized dimension of RIPESS and its work from local to global are fundamental to the promotion of SSE as a tool for economic and social transformation that improves people’s lives. Since 1997, this network composed of continental and sectoral members has developed alliances that allow it to bring together and make local experiences of SSE from all over the world more visible in order to influence the policy-making decisions of international institutions and governments at all levels.

RIPESS decided at the RIO+20 event of 2012 that sustainable development should become one of its main priorities. This UNTFSSE International Conference is thus welcomed by RIPESS. We decided to invest considerable effort in this process, as we expect that it will illustrate the capacity of SSE organisations to implement the SDGs, and will provide further evidence that can be used to convince countries and international institutions that SSE should be included in all efforts to achieve the SDGs.

On the other hand, the working session will provide a good opportunity to explain the alternative development model advocated by RIPESS, as well as the global convergence process that is currently being promoted with the thematic World Social Forum of Transformative Economies 2020 (WSFTE 2020).

Follow the conference

RIPESS delegates will take advantage of this international conference to hold different strategic meetings: including with GSEF and FMDV with whom RIPESS works in partnership on international advocacy, as well as on SSE public policies, regionally and globally. RIPESS will also hold internal meetings of its international advocacy working group members.

For those people and organisations that are also in Geneva, please feel free to contact the different RIPESS representatives from Asia, Africa, Europe and North America who will be representing RIPESS in that session. It will be a pleasure to exchange a few words with you.

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