Call for UN General Assembly to discuss SSE and sustainable development

The idea for a resolution on the issue was put forward during a UN side event on 22 July

A resolution on the social and solidarity economy (SSE) and sustainable development could go before the next UN General Assembly in September.

The idea was put forward at a UN side event co-organised by International Labour Organization (ILO), the Spanish government and UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the SSE (UNTFSSE) on 22 July.

During the meeting representatives from various member states backed a proposal for a UN General Assembly resolution on the SSE for sustainable development.

Yolanda Díaz Pérez, second vice president of the Spanish government and minister of labour and the social economy, said: “We want to bet on the internationalisation of the social economy as the engine of a more humane, fair and sustainable economic model to consolidate social alliances around the world and make the transformations to come a reality.”

Spain was the first country in Europe to adopt social economy legislation that recognises the values and principles of the SSE and its transformational potential.

Other high-level representatives who expressed support for such a resolution included Collen Vixen Kelapile, permanent representative of Botswana to the UN and president of ECOSOC; Raymond Landveld, economic affairs officer, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); Pierre Hurmic, mayor of Bordeaux, France, and president of the Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF), Marlène Schiappa, France’s minister delegate for the SSE; Luis Miguel de Camps, labour minister, the Dominican Republic; Zahra Iyane Thiam Diop, minister of microfinance and SSE, Senegal; and Luka Mesec, deputy prime minister and minister of labour, family, social affairs and equal opportunities, Slovenia.

Other UN member states backing the idea included Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Malaysia and Bulgaria.

Co-operatives were represented at the meeting by Joseph Njuguna, policy coordinator at the International Cooperative Alliance and member of the International Coalition of the SSE (ICSSE), who said a UN resolution on SSE would improve policymaking and implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Rebeca Grynspan, secretary general of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said UNTFSSE will publish a report on the contribution of SSE to the 17 SDGs.

And ILO director general Guy Rider said the sector could “count on the ILO in continuing its efforts and advancing the SSE in the service of decent work, and a planet and people-centred future of work”.

During the meeting it was agreed that a group of member states would work on a resolution to be presented at the 77th General Assembly of the UN in September 2022.