Noticias

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The UN Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) held its 31st regular meeting on July 21, 2020

The meeting brought together over 30 participants including representatives from five member organizations (ILO, UNRISD, UNCTAD, UNDP-ART and OECD), ten observer organizations (CIRIEC, EURICSE, EESC, GSEF, Euclid Network, Social Economy Europe, SSE International Forum, RIPESS, CSEND and ICA) and three resource persons.

The discussions tackled the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications on the social and solidarity economy (SSE) and included feedback on the work done by the UNTFSSE  and its members and observers. The joint statement  by the UNTFSSE on the subject, the virtual event  and the dedicated page  of the task force were tabled.

Several priority objectives identified in the work plan  of the UNTFSSE were also discussed, including the possible process leading to a UN resolution on SSE and two joint UNTFSSE project proposals. The participation of the Chair and members of the Task Force both in the side-event  organized by the French Government and in the process around the HLPF thematic session and thematic review  on Sharing economic benefits paper  were also discussed.

Updates on the Knowledge Hub  ongoing activities and presentation of the current communication strategy of the task force, including the social media new channels  and the modernization of the UNTFSSE website  were tabled.
OECD representative on the task force provided updates on OECD Global Action on “Promoting Social and Solidarity Economy Ecosystems” funded by the European Union.

The next regular meeting of the UNTFSSE will be organized in Autumn 2020.

UNTFSSE participates in the UNGA side event organized by the French Government

The HLPF 2020 side-event was co-organized by the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations along with Mr. Christophe Itier, High-Commissioner for Social and Solidarity Economy and Social Innovation, Mrs. Alexandra Palt, Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer at L’Oréal and the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations.

The virtual event on “Social economy and women empowerment, leverages for Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Action”, was moderated by Carrie Nooten, United Nations Correspondent for Le Monde and Radio France Internationale (RFI).  Composed of two panels the event was part of the initiative of the Pact for Impact  Global Alliance launched in July 2019 in Paris. The first panel focused on paving the way for a more resilient world through social and solidarity economy in context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The second panel explored the relationship between gender equality, women’s empowerment and climate change.

During the first round table, Mr. Itier, High Commissioner of Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) and Social Innovation of the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition of France noted that SSE is playing a role in post-Covid-19 reconstruction. He highlighted how SSE prioritizes local production, shorter supply chains and fair trade, the empowerment of women and creation and preservation of decent work. He observed that in many countries around the world new SSE regulatory frameworks and specific financial mechanisms for SSE are being put in place to create and strengthen SSE ecosystems. He underlined the importance of having a UN General Assembly Resolution on SSE.

Mr. Marvin Rodríguez Cordero, Vice-President of the Republic of Costa Rica, spoke about the importance of having multi-dimensional development at the national level, aligned with the 2030 Agenda. He underlined the need to reinforce the multilateral system. He mentioned that the government of Costa Rica is working on its first public policy on SSE. He noted that SSE embodies the values and principles needed to shift the development paradigm of the country toward a more democratic, inclusive and sustainable one.

Mr. Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner of Labour and Social Rights, noted that equality, social justice and employment are at the hearth of the recovery plans in Europe. He mentioned that these regional plans are aligned with the United Nations call for a comprehensive response to Covid-19 crisis and to put people and planet at the centre of the recovery. He pointed out to the EU Green Deal and the EU next generation as policies that integrate the SDGs in their essence. He indicated that pursuing an economy that works for the people and leaves not one behind is the way forward. He highlighted that SSE, representing more than 10 per cent of the workforce in the EU, is an important actor in driving a better recovery. He said that he thought the European Action Plan for Social Economy in 2021 will create the enabling conditions that ensure development of SSE organizations. The Commissioner announced that there is readiness at the EU level in engaging with the G7 and G20 platforms to secure recognition for SSE at international level. He recognized the efforts of the UNTFSSE and the ILO in advancing SSE.

Ms. Jeroo Billimoria, One Family Foundation and founder of Catalyst 2030, called for including the social entrepreneurs in the co-construction of recovery measures and consultations in shaping public policies. She emphasized the importance of having appropriate access to finance for SSE organization, as also mentioned in the recent report, “Getting from crisis to systems change: Advice for leaders in the time of COVID“.

Mr. Yvon Poirier, Deputy Coordinator of RIPESS, mentioned that it is imperative for countries to integrate existing transformative pathways neglected or ignored by the “business as usual” development paradigms. He advocated for the need for the current global system to sustain and recognize SSE organisations, built by the people around the world. Mr. Poirier concluded by calling on the governments to adopt a resolution at the UNGA recognizing the role of SSE toward achieving the SDGs from the local to the global.

Ms. Augusta Denise Deza, a member of the International Network of Women Leaders, spoke about the importance of the SSE especially in a number of countries in Africa. She noted the need to reinforce the regulatory framework and recognition of SSE. She further stressed the role of SSE in advancing the empowerment of women in society and in the economy.

Mr. Victor van Vuuren, Chair of the UNTFSSE and Director of Enterprises Department at the ILO, provided an overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of work. He noted that it is affecting different populations in different ways, with women, informal workers, indigenous people, and refugees among those hardest hit. He mentioned that the pandemic exposed the weaknesses of the current economic system. He indicated that SSE is one of the alternative economic models, as a key actor and an ally for the public sector in co-constructing public policies in the recovery stage. He highlighted three areas in which SSE plays a driving role: working in favour of the most vulnerable people, especially in times of crisis; generating innovative solutions at the local level; and supporting a just transition. Mr. van Vuuren added that it is crucial to give visibility and raise awareness on different ways of doing business and the plural economy at national, regional and international levels. He mentioned that the UNTFSSE, that gathers 18 UN agencies and OECD as members and 13 civil society organizations and research institutes as observes, works together to advance the recognition of SSE role for the achievement of the SDGs. He mentioned that member states are key to leading the process toward a UN resolution on SSE.

Mr. Joaquín Pérez Rey, Secretary of State for Labour and Social Economy of Spain, emphasized the need to reshape the economy. He mentioned that the Spanish government has the social economy in the title of the Ministry of Labour for the first time, and that it is working toward putting in place a public strategy on social economy for 2021-2027 in order to support the sector. He mentioned that Spain is engaged both at the European level, with the ongoing presidency of the Luxemburg declaration monitoring committee and  Toledo as European capital for social economy, and at the international level, where Spain welcomes the efforts of the Pact for Impact Alliance, the International Cooperative Alliance and the UNTFSSE. He welcomed the process around the UN resolution on SSE and the related discussion on it at the UNGA 2020.

The following round table discussed climate change and its implications on women who have been disproportionately affected by extreme weather events, the loss of agricultural productivity and the destruction of life and property. The panel focused on:

  • ways to improve resilience,
  • how governments, businesses and other stakeholders can scale up efforts to raise women to positions of influence in decision-making bodies on climate change, and
  • how to ensure that gender equality and climate change issues remain priorities in 2020 given the current COVID-19 context.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus closed the event and shared his thoughts about social businesses, the path to achieving the SDGs and the importance of looking at this ongoing crisis as an opportunity to reshaping our societies and economies.

The recording for the event is available here.

 

 

 

The UNTFSSE virtual event: “What role for the Social and Solidarity Economy in the post COVID-19 crisis recovery?” was held on 10th July 2020

The United Nations Inter-agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) organized a virtual event on “What role for the Social and Solidarity Economy in the post COVID-19 crisis recovery?” on 10 July 2020 between 15:30 and 17:00 (CEST).

The speakers elaborated upon the transformative role SSE can play, in a pluralist economy, in pursuing the SDGs and highlighted the need to unlock its potential to tackle the current structural economic, societal, social and environmental crises.

The session was moderated by Mr. Vic van Vuuren, Chair of UNTFSSE and Director of Enterprises Department at ILO, who started the event with a minute of silence in commemoration of the Mr. Won-soon Park, Mayor of Seoul, Republic of Korea. The moderator presented the UNTFSSE, highlights from its work plan for 2020-2022 and the recent statement on “What role for the Social and Solidarity Economy in the post COVID-19 crisis recovery?”.

More than 100 participants from around 30 countries participated in the virtual event. Others followed the livestreaming  of the event through different social media channels of the UNTFSSE. Held in English, the event was organized by ILO in its current role of Chair and Secretariat of the UNTFSSE.

The presentations reflected on how SSE could contribute toward a “better recovery” based on the areas of expertise of their agencies.

Ms. Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief of New York Office at UNCTAD,  highlighted how SSE is a part of emerging economic models that are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and rebuilding better. She noted that the recovery measures need to be green, inclusive, resilient and circular. Her presentation is available here.

Ms. Wenyan Yang, Chief of Social Perspective on Development Branch at UNDESA,  underlined why and how a better recovery should focus on tackling the pre-existing factors that worsen the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of including SSE in devising reconstruction measures. Her presentation is available here.

Ms. Antonella Noya, Head of Social Economy and Innovation Unit at OECD, reflected on the importance of long-term investments and public policies in the plural economy and the need for promoting more inclusive indicators. She insisted on the importance to include SSE in the recovery plans being prepared by goverments.

Ms. Simel Esim, Head of Cooperatives Unit at the ILO,  spoke about the role of cooperatives and wider SSE institutions in crises resilience. She put a specific emphasis on how SSE organizations of informal economy workers responsed to the COVID-19 pandemic to support their members. She concluded by highlighting key lessons learned from SSE responses to the pandemic. Her talking points are available here.

Mr. Luca Renda, Head of Recovery Solutions and Human Mobility at the Crisis Bureau at UNDP, provided his reflections on why and how SSE has considerable potential in finding innovative solutions at the local level and in localizing SDGs. He highlighted the importance of using a comprehensive, transformative and systemic approach to tackling the effects of the current crisis enhancing societal cohesion and wellbeing as the bases for resilience.

Mr. Ilcheong Yi, Senior Research Coordinator at UNRISD, reflected on how and why SSE contribute in fulfilling the central promise of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in “leaving no one behind” and promoting access to basic rights, especially for the most vulnerable people. His presentation is available here.

The panel was followed by a question and answer session during which participants engaged with the presenters in an active discussion. The recording of the event is available here.

 

 

 

UNTFSSE will be at the French Side-event Pact for Impact – High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

The Official Side-event on “Social economy and women empowerment, leverages for Sustainable Development Goals and Climate action” will be organized during the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2020 by the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations together with Mr. Christophe Itier, High-Commissioner for Social and Solidarity Economy and Social Innovation, Mrs. Alexandra Palt, Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer at L’Oréal and the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations French Government.

The event will take place on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 on Zoom at 08:00 am (New York time) and the Chair of the UNTFSSE, Mr. Vic van Vuuren, has been invited to speak.

This virtual event will examine the role of the social and inclusive economy and the empowerment of women in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the fight against climate change. Discussions will also focus on how corporate responsibility and gender equality measures can be embedded in climate change mitigation and climate resiliency programs to develop more effective and long lasting solutions.

This event will be introduced by the moderator and will be followed by two panels. The first panel will focus on paving the way for a more resilient world with Social and Solidarity Economy in Covid-19 context. The other panel will explore relationship between gender equality, women’s empowerment and climate change. The event will close with remarks from Mr. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize.

PROGRAM

PART I – After COVID-19: Paving the way for a more resilient world with Social and Solidarity Economy

  • Introductory remarks by Mr. Christophe Itier, French High-Commissioner for Social and Solidarity Economy and Social Innovation, founder of the Pact for Impact Alliance
  • Marvin Rodríguez Cordero, Vice-President of the Republic of Costa Rica
  • Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner of Labour and Social Rights
  • Yvon Poirier Deputy Coordinator of RIPESS
  • Jeroo Billimoria, One Family Foundation, founder of Catalyst 2030
  • Chantal Fanny, Mayor of Kaniasso and Senator of the Folon Region, Plenipotentiary Ambassador, founder of the International Network of women leaders
  • Vic Van Vuuren, Chairman of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Social and Solidarity Economy
  • Yolanda Diaz, Minister of Labour and Social Economy of Spain

Questions & Answers

PART II – Women & Climate Change

  • Introduction by Mrs. Alexandra Palt, Executive Vice President Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, L’Oréal
  • Grethel Aguilar, Director General, IUCN
  • Aditi Maheshwari, Director for Climate Action in the Executive Office of the Secretary General
  • E. M. Jan Wahlberg, Ambassador of Finland for Climate Change
  • Delphine O, Secretary General of the “Generation Equality” Forum
  • Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, environmental activist and geographer, founder of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT)
  • Seemin Qayum, Acting Chief, Economic Empowerment and Policy Advisor, Sustainable Development, UN Women
  • Questions & Answers

If you are interested in more information please see here.

If would like to attend, please RSVP on the following link.

 

SSE Encyclopedia: First Meeting of the Editorial Committee

The first meeting of the Editorial Committee of the SSE Encyclopedia was held online on July 9, 2020. Seven members of the Committee from Asia, Africa, North and South America, and Europe and two staffs of Edward Elgar Publishing, partner for this Encyclopedia project, participated in the discussions on various issues related to the implementation of the project including key areas of entries and publication plans.

Various key areas have been discussed with great enthusiasm for the creation of a “definitive reference work” on SSE, as was put by Daniel Mather from Edward Elgar Publishing. They include diversity in SSE concepts, sectors, and origins, theoretical debates and critical perspectives on SSE, their partnerships, policy, legal frameworks, gender and the contribution of SSE to sustainable development. The penultimate list of areas of entries and entries themselves will be discussed at the 2nd Editorial Meeting which will be held in late August 2020.

 

UNTFSSE virtual event: “What role for the Social and Solidarity Economy in the post COVID-19 crisis recovery?”

 

The United Nations Inter-agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) will organize a virtual event on “What role for the Social and Solidarity Economy in the post COVID-19 crisis recovery?” on 10 July 2020 between 15:30 and 17:00 (CEST).

This webinar aims to examine how and why the SSE plays – in a pluralist economy – a transformative role in pursuing the SDGs and highlight the urgency to unlock its potential to tackle the current structural economic, societal, social and environmental crises.

The session will also be an opportunity to present the UNTFSSE statement on “What role for the Social and Solidarity Economy in the post COVID-19 crisis recovery?”. Based on UNTFSSE experience and international evidence, the panel discussion will reflect on different roles of the SSE in a “better recovery”. The virtual event will be held in English. A livestreaming on the UNTFSSE channels will be available, along with the recording of the event.

To register for the webinar, please click here.

Speakers:

Vic van Vuuren, Chair, UNTFSSE; Director of Enterprises Department, ILO (Moderator)

Vic Van Vuuren is the Director of the Enterprise Department at the ILO, Geneva. The Enterprise Department promotes Decent Work by supporting sustainable enterprises and strengthening the institutions and governance systems which nurture enterprises. As Director of the Department, Mr van Vuuren oversees a large portfolio of programs that promotes sustainable enterprises. Mr van Vuuren joined the ILO in 2009 as the Director of the ILO Decent Work Team for Southern and Eastern Africa. Prior to joining the ILO, he was the Chief Operations Officer at Business Unity South Africa and representative for business at the South African Economic, Development and Labour Council (Nedlac). In this capacity he was also an employer member of the ILO Governing Body. He is currently the Chair of the United Nations Task Force on the Social and Solidarity Economy.

Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief of New York Office, UNCTAD

Chantal Line Carpentier (Canada) currently serves as Chief of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) New York office of the Secretary-General since 2014. Prior to this, she was actively involved in the successful negotiations of the SDGs for the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). During her tenure with DESA, she served as the Major Groups coordinator to enhance non-state actors engagement with the United Nations and was also the focal point for sustainable consumption and production, food security and sustainable agriculture. She has co-authored a book on Ethical Investing (2008) and regularly publishes journal, articles, book chapters and SG reports on the intricate relationships between sustainable development policies, trade, equality and agriculture.

Wenyan Yang, Chief of Social Perspective on Development Branch, UNDESA

Wenyan Yang is the Chief of Global Dialogue on Social Development Branch in the Division for Inclusive Social Development of UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. She is the Division’s focal point coordinating the support to the UN Commission for Social Development and supervises the preparation of the department flagship publication World Social Report. (http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/rwss/index.html). She has many years of experience in social and economic policy analysis, and in providing substantive and technical support to UN inter-governmental bodies. Her recent work has focused on poverty, inequality, decent work and social protection, and inclusive development. Previously Ms. Yang worked on gender issues in the Division for the Advancement of Women. Currently she is the Principle Gender Focal Point of her Department. She started her UN career as an economic affairs officer in the Macroeconomic and Development Policy Analysis Division, where she contributed to the major departmental publication World Economic and Social Survey and was part of the Secretariat to the ECOSOC expert body Committee for Development Policy, with the main responsibility to provide technical analysis for the Committee’s work reviewing the inclusion in and graduation from the list of Least Developed Countries.

Antonella Noya, Head of Social Economy and Innovation Unit, OECD

Antonella Noya is the Head of the Unit on Social Economy and Innovation at the Center for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities. She organises and coordinates the work on social economy, social entrepreneurship, and social innovation inside her Directorate . Antonella leads the cooperation with the European Commission (DG EMP, DG GROW, EEAS) in these areas of work. Antonella has a university degree in political sciences, a specialisation in legislative drafting and a post degree diploma in economics of territorial development and urban planning from La Sorbonne . She speaks fluent English, French and Italian and fair Spanish. Antonella sits in various national and international scientific and steering committees and advisory boards (including the French National Steering Group on Social Impact Investing, Convergences, INCO.ORG). She represents the OECD at the United Nations Taskforce on Social and Solidarity Economy, and at the GECES (Group of Experts on Social Economy and social enterprises) coordinated by the EC.

Simel Esim, Head of Cooperatives Unit, ILO

Simel Esim is a political economist, working in social and economic development for the past 30 years. She has been the Manager of the Cooperatives Unit at the International Labour Office (ILO) in Geneva since 2012. The Unit, which has been in existence since 1920, serves the ILO constituents on issues related to cooperatives and the wider social and solidarity economy through research, policy advice, training and development cooperation guided by the ILO Recommendation on the Promotion of Cooperatives, 2002 (R.193). From 2004 to 2012, Simel Esim was a Senior Technical Specialist in the ILO’s Regional Office for Arab States. Prior to the ILO, she worked in the International Center for Research on Women in Washington, DC. In addition to cooperative and social and solidarity economy development, she has experience working on informal economy, labour migration and gender equality issues. Simel Esim also has policy advocacy, research, capacity building, programme management and evaluation experience. She holds a B.A. in political science, an M.A. in International Economics and Middle East Studies and a Ph.D. in Economics with a concentration in gender and development economics.

Luca Renda, Head of Recovery Solutions and Human Mobility at the Crisis Bureau, UNDP

Luca Renda is Head of Recovery Solutions and Human Mobility within the UNDP crisis Bureau. He has over 20 years of experience working in a variety of development settings with the UN, in roles of increasing responsibilities since his first assignment as UN Volunteer in Liberia back in 1997. In UNDP, Luca has served as Program Manager in the Emergency Response Division (1999-2000) and RBLAC (2000-2004). He has been Deputy Resident Representative in Ecuador (2004-2007) and Honduras (2007-2012), and Country Director in Lebanon (2012-2017), where he positioned UNDP as a lead agency within the UN response to the Syrian crisis.  Between 2017 and 2020, while serving as Senior Strategic Advisor for the Bureau for Latin America and the caribbean, he has undertaken special assignments such as Head of the UN Crisis Management Unit in Dominica, coordinating UN and UNDP post-disaster recovery efforts; Resident Representative a.i. in Guyana; and RBLAC Special Advisor for the UN transition in Haiti. He has also served as Head a.i. of the SDG Integration Team in BPPS. Luca holds a Degree with highest honors in Political Science and International Relations and a Master of Science in Development from the London School of Economics. He is married with two children.

Ilcheong Yi, Senior Research Coordinator, UNRISD

Ilcheong YI is Senior Research Coordinator at UNRISD. He is in charge of Social and Solidarity Programme and UNTFSSE Knowledge Hub. He is currently supervising several project directly related to SSE, such as  Sustainable Development Performance Indicators, SSE Statistics, and Guidelines on public policy for SSE at the city and provincial levels.  He joined UNRISD in October 2008. Born in the Republic of Korea, he was trained as a political scientist (B.A. and M.A. from the Department of Political Science, Seoul National University) and as a social policy analyst (D.Phil from Oxford University). His specialization is in the issues of poverty, social policy, labour policy, social economy, and historical analysis of the economic and social development process. Prior to joining UNRISD, Ilcheong Yi was Associate Professor at Kyushu University, Japan (2004-2008), Korea Foundation Visiting Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Malaya, Malaysia (2003-2004), and Visiting Research Fellow at the Stein Rokkan Centre, University of Bergen, Norway (2002-2003). He has fulfilled a number of consultant, field researcher and project development roles for international and national organizations including the ILO, UNRISD, JBIC and KOICA.

UNTFSSE statement on “What role for the Social and Solidarity Economy in the post COVID-19 crisis recovery?”

In June 2020, the United Nations Inter-agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) released a statement on “What role for the Social and Solidarity Economy in the post COVID-19 crisis recovery?”

The statement is a joint effort of members and observers of the task force to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic, its impacts on lives, economies and planet and recovery strategies necessary to overcome the socio-economic crisis. The document states that “(…) it is necessary to address the root causes of exclusionary and unsustainable development, in order to shape a different future. Rethinking the way we do business will be crucial in order to ensure a ‘people-centred and planet-sensitive’ recovery.”

It introduces the SSE as one key actor in shaping such a recovery, especially through promoting the access to basic rights, in particular for the most vulnerable people; generating innovative solutions at the local level; supporting a just transition; acting as an anticyclical “antidote”. The statement concludes with a call for action for governments.

It is available in English here.

UNTFSSE special meeting on COVID-19 and other matters

The UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) organized a virtual meeting to continue the discussion on the implications of COVID-19 on the Task Force work.

The meeting took place on 12 June 2020, with over 30 participants including representatives from six member organizations of the Task Force (ILO, UNRISD, UNCTAD, UNDP-ART, UNDESA and OECD), nine observer organizations (CIRIEC, EURICSE, GSEF, Euclid network, SSE International Forum, RIPESS, CSEND, EESC and ICA) and three resource persons.

It was decided that the Task Force would jointly draft a statement on “What role for the Social and Solidarity Economy in the post COVID-19 crisis recovery?” The statement will be launched and discussed during a virtual event to be organized by the UNTFSSE on 10 July 2020 at 3.30 pm (CEST), with speakers from member organizations. More information including how to attend the event will soon be available here .

The UNTFSSE was also invited by the French High Commissioner on SSE and Social Innovation, Mr. Christophe Itier, to participate in a virtual side-event to be organized by the French Government on “Social economy and women empowerment: leverages for SDGs and climate action” in the framework of the UN High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development. The UNTFSSE confirmed its interest to be part of the event as a partner and the Chair will present the work of the Task Force. The date of the virtual meeting is still to be confirmed.

The UNTFSSE meeting concluded with an agreement to continue the conversation with key governments and partners in order to further develop and implement the priority objectives of the UNTFSSE work plan for 2020-2022.

UNTFSSE participates in the first meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Luxembourg Declaration under the Spanish Presidency

On 28 May 2020, the Spanish Minister of Labour and Social Economy Ms. Yolanda Díaz chaired the first meeting via video conferencing as President of the Monitoring Committee of the Luxembourg Declaration . The Spanish Government succeeded the French Government this year.

Representatives of 14 Member States of the European Union were present, together with the European Commission, European Parliament, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), ESS France, Spanish Business Confederation of Social Economy (CEPES), Social Economy Europe (SEE), ILO, OECD and the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) .

The Director of the Enterprises Department  and and Chair of the UNTFSSE, Mr. Vic Van Vuuren, and two officials from the ILO Cooperatives Unit , Mr. Roberto di Meglio and Ms. Valentina Verze, represented the UNTFSSE and the ILO.

The meeting served to reinforce the attendees’ commitment to promote the social economy, which was defined by Minister Díaz as “part of the solution to the crisis and key actor in the recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic”. Moreover, the Spanish Minister announced a decision to designate the city of Toledo as the European social economy capital 2020 and a project to carry out the satellite accounts of the social economy in Spain.

Several government representatives, including the Italian Minister of Labour and Social Policies Ms. Nunzia Catalfo, emphasized their interest in enlarging the Monitoring Committee to other EU members states; the importance of taking into account SSE enterprises and organizations in the design and implementation of national and European recovery measures from COVID-19; and the strong commitment into realizing a European Action Plan for the Social Economy. Other government representatives, such as the French High Commissioner for Social and Solidarity Economy and Social Innovation Mr. Christophe Itier, also stressed the importance of a European commitment to promote SSE at the global level, through engaging in the Pact for Impact initiative  and tabling a resolution on SSE to UN General Assembly.

In his intervention, Mr. Vic van Vuuren welcomed the interest of governments in tabling a UN resolution on SSE. He further emphasized the urgency to preserve and create jobs, considering that the current crisis is not affecting all populations in the same way. He noted that SSE organizations and actors could be essential partners in promoting a better recovery through the promotion of “planet sensitive and people-oriented businesses”.