The 45th Meeting of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) began with opening remarks from Chantal Line Carpentier (Chair, UNCTAD). Approval of the previous meeting's minutes proceeded smoothly, underscoring the commitment to transparent proceedings.
One of the key highlights of the meeting was around the preparations for the Technical Symposium in Montreal, scheduled for October 2-3. The Chair walked participants through the tentative agenda, which carefully aligns breakout sessions with the recently adopted UN General Assembly Resolution, addressing existing gaps. Discussions during this segment included logistics, participant lists, travel bookings, hybrid participation options, visits to local SSE entities, and taking part in the 10th year anniversary celebrations of the SSE law in Quebec at the National Assembly on October 4th, 2023.
Another item of discussion on the agenda of the meeting was the role of the private sector with regard to the SSE, the task force and the implementation of the UN Resolution. Some of the exchanges focused on how many SSE entities are in fact part of the private sector. Others concentrated around the public and private sectors both having a role to play in the implementation of the UN resolution on promoting the SSE for sustainable development as one of the recommendations of the UN resolution encourages multilateral, international and regional financial institutions and development banks to support the SSE, including through existing and new financial instruments and mechanisms adapted to all stages of development.
There was a discussion on drafting and publishing criteria for UNTFSSE publications in preparation for future requests. In light of this, Simel Esim (Vice Chair of UNTFSSE, Head of ILO COOP/SSE) highlighted the need to formalize aspects of the task force's governance, given its decade-long history and the recent Resolution. Resource mobilization discussions revolved around securing administrative and secretariat support beyond the current year, exploring options like annual support from Members and Observers.
Looking ahead, the participants to the meeting discussed the new workplan that will be crafted during the Fourth Technical Symposium, leveraging the UN General Assembly resolution as a foundation. The Secretariat has been actively preparing templates for discussions, inviting ideas and background materials from Members and Observers. Following the Montreal Symposium, session notes will be consolidated into a work plan for discussion at a meeting scheduled for December.
Ilcheong Yi (UNRISD) presented updates on the Knowledge Hub, including the idea of publishing UNTFSSE archives in honor of the 10th anniversary. Various requests to translate UNTFSSE publications and the new ‘Awareness Raising Package’ were also discussed and considered by Members and Observers.
The EU Council Recommendation on Social Economy, mapping case studies for Africa, and strategies for engaging regional and sub-national representatives were shared in the context of strengthening the regional dimension of SSE. While no specific updates on international events were reported on, the participants to the meeting noted that they anticipate the upcoming Montreal Symposium.
In summary, the 45th UNTFSSE Meeting showcased a united front in supporting the realization of the recommendations of the UN resolution forward. As plans take shape and actions unfold, the task force remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering cooperation and sustainable development through the SSE.