PRESS RELEASE – UNTFSSE 4th Technical Symposium: Advancing the Social and Solidarity Economy in Quebec and Beyond

The United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) is pleased to announce its highly anticipated 4th Technical Symposium, set to convene in Montreal, Quebec from October 2nd to 3rd 2023.


The United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) is pleased to announce its highly anticipated 4th Technical Symposium, set to convene in Montreal, Quebec from October 2nd to 3rd 2023. The event, held in partnership with the Government of Quebec, the City of Montreal and the Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins will bring together Members (UN agencies including ILO, UNCTAD, UNRISD, DESA, and others) and Observers (global and/or regional organizations that actively promote and engage in the promotion of the SSE in alignment with the UNTFSSE’s aims). Esteemed guests include the Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy of Quebec, the elected representative responsible for economic and business development, knowledge, innovation, and design on the executive committee of the Ville de Montreal, the Executive Vice-President, Marketing, Communications, Cooperation and President’s Office, Desjardins Group and high-level representatives from Member States leading the charge on SSE Resolution, namely: Senegal, France, and Chile.

This fourth technical symposium will reunite global policymakers, practitioners, and researchers, to explore how to effectively implement the United Nations General Assembly resolution “Promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development” (A/RES/77/281), adopted on April 18, 2023.  Holding the 4th Technical Symposium of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy in Montréal is recognition of Québec’s unique social economy model, developed through the joint efforts of the social economy ecosystem and the Québec government. The event will benefit from the experiences of and experts from Quebec. The task force will also discuss how to support the UN Secretary General in the development of the report, as mandated in the Resolution on `Promoting the SSE for Sustainable Development’.


Key Symposium Highlights:

  • Plenary Sessions: Esteemed keynote speakers will offer insights into the significance of the SSE and its implications for global sustainable development. UNTFSSE Chair and Vice Chair will present the task force’s action plan, setting the stage for comprehensive breakout discussions.
  • Breakout Sessions: Attendees will engage in focused and interactive breakout sessions, delving into specific aspects of the resolution’s implementation, such as policy frameworks, financial mechanisms, statistics, education, research, and capacity building. Workplans will be developed for future implementation and the UNSG Report.
  • Engagement of Member States: High-level representatives of Spain, Chile, and Senegal will provide feedback one the workplans and reflect on their own national priorities.
  • Networking Opportunities: The symposium will provide ample networking opportunities, fostering connections among experts, practitioners, policymakers, and academics who are united by a shared commitment to sustainable development through social and solidarity economy.
  • Celebrating local SSE: On day two, participants will spend the afternoon visiting local SSE entities, and on day three, UNTFSSE members will be invited to the National Assembly in Quebec to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the SSE legislation.


“The UNGA is the highest body of the UN. This 4th Technical Symposium of the UNTFSSE presents a pivotal opportunity for the UN system and its partners to design plans to implement the Resolution. I look forward to engaging with our partners and colleagues in Montreal to strategize on how we will together roll out SSE as a catalyst for sustainable development and climates changes.” – Chantal Line Carpentier, Chair of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on SSE and Head of Trade, Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainable Development at UNCTAD Division on International Trade and Commodities.

“Thanks to its social economy government action plan, the MEIE is helping to foster a favourable environment to collective entrepreneurship. Holding the UNTFSSE Symposium in Montréal will give local organizations an opportunity to share their expertise and to promote the social and solidarity economy.” – Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister Responsible for Montréal and the Metropolitan Region.

“Quebec’s social economy ecosystem is recognized internationally for its diversity, its omnipresence, and its contribution to achieving government objectives. Without a doubt, Québec plays a real leadership role in the social economy on an international scale. I’m delighted that this event is being held in Montreal and that the Quebec government is getting involved and associated with this Symposium, which will highlight our culture and our social heritage. This is a unique opportunity to share best practices and learn from the experience of international experts and organizations.” – Martine Biron, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women

“Nowadays, the fight against climate change is intrinsically linked to finances. By hosting the 4th Technical Symposium of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE), Montréal is once again affirming its position as an international leader in terms of economic development with a focus on environmental issues. Social economy is part of our city’s DNA. Our metropolis is home to a quarter of all social economy organizations in Québec. This is a powerful tool, and one that is necessary in our quest for innovative economic solutions to social and environmental problems, particularly in the context of the climate crisis.” – Valérie Plante, mayor of Montréal.

“Desjardins Group is the largest financial cooperative in North America and the fifth largest in the world. Drawing on a network of cooperatives firmly rooted in their communities, thanks to financial leverage and exceptional human commitment, Desjardins Group plays a decisive role in the development of Quebec’s social economy ecosystem. In fact, the Caisse d’économie solidaire has been a key player for over 50 years. We therefore enthusiastically welcome this UN initiative, which recognizes the important role of the social economy in international development. Desjardins will be standing alongside the various contributors to make it a success.” – Isabelle Garon, Executive Vice-President, Marketing, Communications, Cooperation and President’s Office, Desjardins Group


About the UNTFSSE:

The UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) was founded in 2013, out of a growing concern within the UN system that efforts to rethink development in the wake of multiple global crises and in the context of the post-2015 development agenda paid insufficient attention to Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE). The UNTFSSE aims to raise the visibility of the SSE within the UN system and beyond. The members and observers of the Task Force have committed to undertake collaborative activities to:

  • Enhance the recognition of the role of SSE enterprises and organizations in sustainable development;
  • Promote knowledge of SSE and consolidate SSE networks;
  • Support the establishment of an enabling institutional and policy environment for the SSE; and
  • Ensure coordination of international efforts and create and strengthen partnerships.

The work of the Task Force takes the form of joint initiatives among members: producing reports and briefs, organizing events related to SSE in connection with relevant UN processes and conferences, and creating partnerships and dialogues with governmental and civil society entities.

For more information on the UNTFSSE, including a list of current Members and Observers, please visit: