UNTFSSE participates in the closing session of the first edition of the Digital Mont Blanc Meetings

At the webinar organized by SSE International Forum, the Director of the ILO’s Enterprises Department and Chair of the UN Inter-Agency Taskforce on the Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) discussed the importance of social economy organizations in COVID-19 recovery measures and in the implementation of Agenda 2030.

The event was part of the first edition of the Digital Mont Blanc Meetings organized by SSE International Forum. The webinars took place every Thursday in September 2020 and featured topics including social economy finance, digitalization and platform cooperatives, social economy and globalization and SDGs.

In the closing session, Mr Van Vuuren highlighted the significant negative impact of COVID-19 on employment and GDP in many countries. He mentioned that as per latest edition of the ILO Monitor, workplace closures continue to disrupt labour markets around the world, leading to working-hour losses that are higher than previously estimated. The estimated total working-hour losses in the second quarter of 2020 (relative to the fourth quarter of 2019) are now 17.3 per cent, or 495 million full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs, revised upward from the estimate of 14.0 per cent (400 million FTE jobs). He highlighted the negative impacts of COVID-19 on women, migrants, young people, workers with precarious employment contracts, and informal economy workers, who have been disproportionately affected by the consequences of the confinement measures, as the closure of non-essential businesses and other activities.

He stressed that the preservation and creation of jobs should be at the core of the governments’ recovery measures and policies. In the post-crisis setting, governments could seize the opportunities for leap-frogging to plural economies in their stimulus measures and recovery plans by promoting alternative people ant planet-oriented business models. Mr van Vuuren concluded his intervention by highlighting SSE institutions as key actors and critical partners for the public sector in co-constructing public policies for recovery in the post COVID-19 crisis. A planet-sensitive and people-oriented recovery is indispensable in order to fulfill the promise of the Agenda 2030 for an inclusive and sustainable development, he noted.

The event brought together participants from around the world who engaged with the speakers through the Q&A session.

The videos of all sessions are available here.