UNTFSSE Position Paper: Advancing the 2030 Agenda through the Social and Solidarity Economy

The second position paper of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy revisits the role of Social and Solidarity Economy in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and calls for a stronger enabling environment and policy framework for SSE.



The UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) has published its first Position Paper in 2014 to emphasize the need to pay more attention to Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) in the process of drafting the 2030 Agenda. As we approach the mid-point of the 2030 Agenda implementation phase, the UNTFSSE publishes a second Position Paper to reflect the development of SSE over the past years and its contributions and potential in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

By examining systematically how SSE relates to all 17 SDGs and numerous specific targets, the aim of this Position Paper is three-fold:

  • To illustrate how SSE is a dynamic force for change that is key for realizing the paradigm shift called for in the 2030 Agenda;
  • To identify policy and legal reforms that yield important lessons for governments and parliaments worldwide as to how they can foster an institutional environment conducive to SSE;
  • To call attention to the need for advocacy and policy innovation at multiple levels of governance – local, regional, national and international.

Drawing on rich sources of information and analyses that have emerged in recent years, the paper begins by identifying key attributes and functions of SSE organizations and enterprises and revisiting how SSE should be framed. It identifies recent trends in the development of SSE and contemporary challenges that need to be addressed. Subsequent sections of the paper examine the contribution of SSE to eights clusters of SDGs, providing concrete regional, country and local examples. Considerable attention is paid to the contribution of SSE in dealing with contemporary crises and the challenge of building forward better. These include the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, rising inequality, the future of work and trends that negatively impact democracy and participatory governance. The paper proposes a path forward for designing policy and institutional environments that can enable SSE to realize its full potential, focusing in particular on the role that governments and inter-governmental organizations can play in this process.

This Position Paper, coordinated by the ILO with the support of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social and Solidarity Economy of Luxembourg, is a joint effort of members and observers of the UNTFSSE and benefited from a rich knowledge base of SSE that has been documented via the work of civil society organizations, researchers, governments, agencies and SSE practitioners.