The 4th World Forum of Local Economic Develaopment (LED) will be held at Praia, Cabo Verde, from October 17 to 20, 2017. After previous meetings in Seville, Spain (2011), in Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) in 2013 and in 2015 in Turin, Italy.

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Local Economic Development as a comprehensive framework to localize the Sustainable Development Goals: addressing rising inequalities“.

The theme of the event is totally aligned with a recent announcement by the UN Secretary General António Guterres of the importance of localizing the 2030 Agenda.

In 2014, even before the adoption of the 2030 SDG’S, in a position paper published by the UN Taskforce, the 19 UN Agencies involved explicitly recognized the potential of the ESS for sustainable development. Chapter 3 of this document clearly specifies the importance of ESS for LED:

SSE provides a vision of local development that proactively regenerates and develops local areas through employment generation, mobilizing local resources, community risk management and retaining and reinvesting surplus. SSE can serve to widen the structure of a local economy and labour market and addressing unmet needs with various goods and services. It can build trust and social cohesion and play an important role in participatory local governance. SSE principles can introduce added value within the sectors in which they operate owing to SSE’s compatibility with local interests and its capacity to pursue simultaneously several objectives.

RIPESS decided to get involved last November 4 at the Symposium organized by the Taskforce in Rome. For RIPESS, LED is important since SSE is rooted in local communities and we fully agree that the SDG’s need to be implemented at the local level.

Since January, we have worked with Jacinto Santos from Cape Verde to develop the SSE and LED approach. Jacinto Santos is a member of the national organising commission of the 4th Forum and in 2016, was host to a first Portuguese speaking SSE conference. A network was created at that occasion.

RIPESS is also actively working with UN Taskforce Agencies involved as a partner of the 4th Forum, in particular UNDP and the ILO to assure that the potential of SSE, one of the six sub-themes of the Forum, is fully recognized to implement the SDG’s. RIPESS will be an Associate partner for the Forum.

RIPESS is planning to be represented at the preparatory regional event in Bolivia in June and in a Symposium in July in Cape Verdi to prepare SSE organisations for October.