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.