The ILO DG participated in the OECD high-level conference on SSE

The political momentum around SSE was discussed at the opening session.

News | 23 September 2021
The high-level virtual conference "The Social and Solidarity Economy: From the Margins to the Mainstream" took place from 13 to 16 September 2021, within the framework of the OECD Global Action. It brought together hundreds of policy makers, practitioners, and experts working on the social and solidarity economy.

Mr. Guy Ryder, the Director-General of ILO, participated with opening remarks, along with Mr. Mathias Cormann, Secretary-General at OECD; Olivia Grégoire, French Secretary of State for Social Economy and Responsible Economy, Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at OECD, Luisa María Alcalde Luján, Secretary of Labour and Social Welfare in Mexico, Mr. Nicolas Schmi, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights at the European Commission, Ms. Patrizia Toia, MEP and Co-Chair of the Intergroup on the Social Economy at the European Parliament.

The speakers highlighted how SSE is gaining attention both nationally and internationally as a driver of inclusive and sustainable economic development and recovery. They presented the strategies that their governments are adopting to support SSE, the actions that international organisations are undertaking to raise its visibility, and how advancing SSE can help policy makers improve people’s lives and stimulate innovation.

Guy Ryder, Director-General, ILO
Mr. Ryder reaffirmed the ILO's historical commitment to SSE, which dates back to the very foundation of the ILO more than one hundred years ago. He noted that the first ILO Director was a French cooperator, and the organization created a Cooperatives Unit in 1920. The ILO’s commitment to the advancement of the SSE is grounded in its work on international standard setting and, in particular, the ILO Recommendation on the Promotion of Cooperatives, 2002 (R.193) which represents one of the milestone which guides the ILO’s work on SSE.

He mentioned that since 2010, the ILO has held, in close collaboration with the ILO International Training Centre in Turin, eleven Academies on Social and Solidarity Economy, bringing together over 1,000 academics, practitioners, policy makers and social partner representatives from all continents. The next SSE academy, he noted, will be will virtually take place in November 2021.

At the multilateral level, he added, the ILO co-founded the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) in 2013. The ILO currently chairs the task force which comprises 17 UN agencies plus the OECD as members, and 14 civil society organizations as observers.

Mr. Ryder mentioned that the role and the importance of SSE organizations were recognized both in the 2019 Declaration for the Future of Work and more recently in the Global Call for action for human-centre recovery.

He added that in June 2022 the ILO will have its first General Discussion on the “Social and Solidarity Economy for a human-centred future of work and recovery from the covid-19”. Mr Ryder concluded:

“Not only cooperativism and the social and solidarity economy have been a constant in ILO’s work for over a century, but they are part of the solutions to today’s problems. There is a real actually about the debate that is taking place here and the issues we have to address together”.

Watch the full session here.
For more information on the event