2020 High Level Political Forum: thematic session on Responding to the economic shock, relaunching growth, sharing economic benefits and addressing developing countries financing challenges

The HLPF on Sustainable Development 2020 serves as a platform in reviewing progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the run-up to 2030. This year’s High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2020 on Sustainable Development took place between July 7th and 17th. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, and its unprecedented economic and social consequences, the Forum discussed opportunities for “building back better” in the COVID-19 recovery process.

UNRISD, ILO, UNDESA, UN-Women, and World Bank have acted as co-conveners for the thematic session on Responding to the economic shock, relaunching growth, sharing economic benefits, and addressing developing countries financing challenges, virtually held on July 8th.

The role of SSE in contributing to the 2030 vision was featured prominently in the background note of the session.  In particular, it was emphasised that the creation of SSE organisations and enterprises (SSEOEs) as part of the post COVID-19 recovery packages would help to generate decent work and productive employment whilst mitigating other social and economic consequences that surfaced as a result of the pandemic. Engagement with the private sector through the promotion of entrepreneurship and sustainable enterprises was also recognised as a step towards recovery and economic growth.

Since the growing demand for a greater workforce in the health and social care sectors was highlighted by the pandemic, the ability of SSEOEs to play a part in creating new jobs in these sectors further called for SSE in mitigating the negative fallouts of the pandemic. In “building back better” as part of the COVID-19 recovery plan, SSE has the potential to play a prominent role in creating jobs while protecting workers’ rights.

In Quebec, Canada, partnerships between SSEOEs and the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Solidarity were used as an example of the potential of SSE in “building back better”. The example draws on information collected before the COVID-19 crisis, whereby the province of Quebec contributed to helping vulnerable populations. In India, the work of cooperatives in the State of Tamil Nadu was also drawn on as a good example of initiatives supporting just and sustainable economies.

The United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on the Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) was mentioned as a key example of multilateral efforts in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Denison Jayasooria, Laurence Kwark, Leandro Morais, and Peter Utting – as representatives of the SSE international community – were among the participants to the consultation process, which took place prior to the Forum.