How can the international recognition of Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) help achieve the SDGs through social and inclusive innovation?

The objective of the event is to raise awareness on the positive development impact of the social and solidarity economy, that can help localize the SDGs and render the recovery more inclusive, resilient and sustainable using experiences shared by Member States and civil society. It also aims to foster exchanges among CSOs and SSE organizations and decision makers to identify how best to advance the SSE and help us accelerate achievement of the SDGs.

The Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) encompasses enterprises, organizations and other entities that are engaged in economic, social, and environmental activities to serve the collective and/or general interest, which are based on the principles of voluntary cooperation and mutual aid, democratic and/or participatory governance, autonomy and independence, and the primacy of people and social purpose over capital in the distribution and use of surpluses and/or profits as well as assets. SSE entities aspire to long-term viability and sustainability, and to the transition from the informal to the formal economy and operate in all sectors of the economy. They put into practice a set of values which are intrinsic to their functioning and consistent with care for people and planet, equality and fairness, interdependence, self-governance, transparency and accountability, and the attainment of decent work and livelihoods. According to national circumstances, the SSE includes cooperatives, associations, mutual societies, foundations, social enterprises, self-help groups and other entities operating in accordance with the values and principles of the SSE

In July 2019 the International Pact for Impact Alliance was established in Paris, bringing together more than 30 countries under the leadership of France around the Social and Solidarity Economy and Inclusive Economy. On 4 March 2022 the Alliance launched a call for mobilization around a draft UN resolution on SSE for sustainable development. Throughout 2022, the Alliance worked with a working group of interested States from all continents on the technical aspects of such a resolution. The resulting text is a basis for future exchanges by member States at the UN in New York, where such a resolution should be tabled, negotiated and adopted.

The 110 th ILO Conference held in June 2022 resulted in the Resolution and conclusions concerning decent work and the social and solidarity economy that provide a universal tripartite definition of the term “social and solidarity economy” and set out its associated principles and values. Then, during the side-event “Role of Social and Solidarity Economy in achieving the SDGs: Potential General Assembly Resolution” organized by the Spanish Government in collaboration with the ILO and UNCTAD in July 2022 at UNHQ, Member States recognized the role of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) in contributing to the attainment of Agenda 2030 and expressed support for advancing a proposal for a UN General Assembly Resolution on SSE for sustainable development. As an immediate follow up and with the impulse of the Spanish Mission in New York, a core group of interested countries was created in support of such resolution.

The UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE), founded in 2013, aims to raise the visibility of Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) within the UN system and beyond. Since that moment - it saw a growing interest with now 18 UN agencies and the OECD as members. The Task Force has benefitted from and is enriched by CSOs and SSEO observers, many umbrella organizations, that have worked in, supported, and documented the positive development impacts of SSE. The UNTFSSE published in September 2022 the “UNTFSSE Position Paper: Advancing the 2030 Agenda through the Social and Solidarity Economy”, which revisits the role of SSE in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and calls for a stronger enabling environment and policy framework for SSE.
Of crucial importance to the sound operationalization of the SSE are members of civil society. To this effect, a multistakeholder meeting, joining civil society and Governments is planned at the UN Headquarters in New York on 13 December, 2022. The event will also be available on UN TV.