The Secretary General of the United Nations includes the SSE as an alternative model of development in his report to the Commission for Social Development.


The 59th edition of the United Nations Commission for Social Development, which meets annually and plays a key role in addressing challenges such as the elimination of poverty, the reduction of inequality and the protection of the environment, challenges that are at the core of the 2030 Agenda, came to an end on February 17.


This year’s edition, which took place from February 8 to 17, mostly online, featured the UN Secretary General’s report, which highlights that “the SSE embodies another alternative growth model that seeks a new balance between economic efficiency and social and environmental resilience”.


In the report, the Secretary-General discusses the need for a socially just transition to more inclusive, equitable, resilient and sustainable development, and provides an analysis of the policies and measures that need to be adopted to achieve this. It highlights the role of digital technologies in promoting social development and well-being for all, with particular attention to disadvantaged, marginalized or vulnerable groups and communities.


The highlighting of the SSE as an alternative for growth and its inclusion in the report comes after an important and efficient work of the United Nations working group for the SSE, of which RIPESS is a member and in which it collaborates actively, thanks also to the collaboration established between RIPESS and the Catalan Agency for Cooperation (ACCD).


This recognition of the SSE comes also when the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are having a terrible impact on the welfare and social development around the world. The pandemic has exposed serious and structural fragilities in the economy, and has deepened existing inequalities, while highlighting the need for resilience, innovation and cooperation. This situation does not affect everyone in the same way. Women, migrants, forcibly displaced persons, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, marginalized communities, youth, workers in the informal economy and those with precarious employment contracts are just a few examples of some of the groups that will be most affected by the consequences of the pandemic.


RIPESS therefore sees it as imperative to rethink existing socio-economic policy frameworks to achieve an inclusive and equitable “reconstruction”, building anew and better, from a social and solidarity-based perspective, aligning policy frameworks with the vision and overall goals of the 2030 Agenda.