ILO to work with Sungkonghoe University to boost Korean co-op sector

The two organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding which commits them to knowledge sharing and work on joint academic programmes and training

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Seoul-based Sungkonghoe University pledged to strengthen collaboration on co-operatives and the wider social and solidarity economy (SSE), signing a memorandum of understanding on 3 July.

The MoU was signed by the director of the ILO’s Enterprises Unit, Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, and the president of Sungkonghoe University (SKHU), Keyong-Moon Kim.

The country was also the host of this year’s International Conference on Statistics of Cooperatives: Measuring Cooperatives and Beyond held on 30 June in Busan. Between 29 June and 5 July the ILO conducted meetings with Korean partners including several government institutions.

A graduate school specialising in the SSE,  Sungkonghoe University also co-organised the 9th CIRIEC international research conference on social economy in Seoul from July 4 to 6 this year.

Through the MoU the two organisations have agreed to co-operate on a range of issues, including promoting research and knowledge sharing on issues related to the SSE, decent work, and sustainable development.

They will develop and deliver joint academic programmes, courses and training activities, with a focus on capacity building in the areas of SSE; and organise joint events, seminars, workshops, and conferences on labour-related issues to share experiences and best practices.

The MoU also sees them agree to facilitate the exchange of experts, scholars, and researchers to enhance cooperation and knowledge exchange between the ILO and Sungkonghoe University; and support the development of policies and programmes related to the promotion of SSE, decent work, and sustainable development at the national and international levels.

The initiative is part of the ILO’s efforts to promote partnerships to drive the implementation of the its seven-year office-wide strategy and action plan (SAP) on decent work and the social and solidarity economy 2023-29.

The head of the ILO’s Co-op Unit, Simel Esim, will in the coming months follow up with SKHU to operationalise this MoU through joint planning, coordination and implementation of activities, in line with respective mandates, priorities and resources.