ILO joins a regional network meeting on the social and solidarity economy in Asia and the Pacific

The regional conference showcased the landscape of social and solidarity economy actors contributing towards the Sustainable Development Goals and strengthened the regional network on the social and solidarity economy in Asia-Pacific region.

News | 31 January 2024
The regional MySDG International Conference “Building Inclusive Communities through SDGs and Social and Solidarity Economy Initiatives” held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 27-28 January 2024 showcased the landscape of social and solidarity economy actors that contribute towards localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and strengthened the network of the social and solidarity economy actors and promoters in Asia-Pacific region. The conference, co-organized by MySDG Academy (All-Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia) and Asian Solidarity Economy Council (ASEC) brought together over 120 government officials, international organizations, activists, practitioners, community leaders from 15 countries in the region.

Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economy in Malaysia opened the conference by reaffirming the government’s commitment and support towards the social and solidarity economy actors in accelerating progress towards localization of the SDGs and noted that social and solidarity economy actors can partner with the government to improve employment opportunities and extend critical services for vulnerable and marginalized groups.

Ms. Heejin Ahn, Technical Officer on Entrepreneurship and Social and Solidarity Economy Development gave a keynote speech highlighting that social and solidarity economy entities are well-positioned to achieve access and inclusion related targets of the localized SDGs. She noted that several Asian countries, including Malaysia have played a key role in the adoption of the UN Resolution “Promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development.” Ms. Ahn informed the participants of the ILO’s project on Strengthening the Social and Solidarity Economy in Asia project – phase 2 which informs and creates policy dialogue on the contributions of the social and solidarity economy to decent work and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific region.

The Conference showcased good practices of social and solidarity economy entities contributing towards localizing the Sustainable Development Goals including women and youth empowerment, environmental sustainability, disability inclusion and rural development in the region.

On 28 January 2024, the participants visited the Association of Social Services and Community Development of Gombak District, Selangor (PSPK), a community-based organization that empowers marginalized women and children through income-generating activities and literacy programs. The participants learnt about activities such as upcycling plastic bottles, gardening, baking, and catering and sewing and IT training.

On 29 January 2024, the ILO representative participated in ASEC’s General Assembly as an observer. The Assembly discussed ways to operationalize the Social and Solidarity Economy Development Roadmap which include formalizing ASEC membership, advancing knowledge management, education, and training, resource mobilization and crowdfunding and impact assessment.

The ILO, in partnership with ESCAP and ASEC will hold a regional conference “Social and Solidarity Economy for Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals in Asia “in Bangkok, Thailand on 23-24 April 2024. ASEC will organize ASEAN Peoples’ Forum, an annual forum of civil society organisations from ASEAN Member States as part of the ASEAN Summit in Malaysia in 2025.

All-Parliamentary Group Malaysia was established by the Parliament of Malaysia in October 2019, an initiative driven to implement the SDGs in Parliamentary constituencies in Malaysia.

Asian Solidarity Economy Council is the Asian hub for enhancing the responsibilities of stakeholders in co-creating a compassionate, solidarity economy. It brings together 18 national and continental networks in 21 countries in Asia. ASEC is part of RIPESS, an intercontinental network that connects social and solidarity economy throughout the world.