Social and Solidarity Economy and the Sustainable Development Goals

Rural cooperative gathering women from Kesavarayampatti village (Madras), © Copyright ILO

What is the Social and Solidarity Economy?

Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) encompasses organizations and enterprises that:

1) have explicit economic and social (and often environmental) objectives;
2) involve varying degrees and forms of cooperative, associative and solidarity relations between workers, producers and consumers;
3) practice workplace democracy and self-management.

SSE includes traditional forms of cooperatives and mutual associations, as well as women’s self-help groups, community forestry groups, social provisioning organizations or ‘proximity services’, fair trade organizations, associations of informal sector workers, social enterprises, and community currency and alternative finance schemes.

 

The international development community recognizes the need to rethink development. Business-as-usual has not prevented the recent financial and food crises, climate change, persistent poverty and rising inequality. In the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we need to consider Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) as an important pathway to transforming the world for the better.

The UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) was established to raise the visibility of the SSE in international knowledge and policy circles. We believe that SSE holds considerable promise for addressing the economic, social and environmental integrated approaches of sustainable development.

Updates related to SSE and the SDGs:
April 19, 2023

Historic moment for the SSE: At its 66th plenary meeting, the UN General Assembly adopts the resolution “Promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development”

At its 66th plenary meeting on April 18, 2023, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution “Promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development” (A/77/L.60). The resolution provides an official definition for the Social and Solidarity Economy and acknowledges that it can contribute to the achievement and localization of the Sustainable Development Goals.     Recognizing the role of the Social and Solidarity Economy in promoting democracy and social justice, the resolution also: 1. Encourages Member States to […]
September 26, 2022

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 […]
January 25, 2021

Social and Solidarity Economy highlighted as an alternative model of growth in the UN Secretary General’s Report on “Socially just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all”

The report was released for the upcoming Fifty-ninth session of the Commission for Social Development on the topic. In the report (available in English | French | Spanish | Russian | Arabic | Chinese), the Secretary General addresses the need for a socially just transition towards a more inclusive, equitable, resilient and sustainable development. He provides an analysis of policies to be adopted and actions to be taken toward that end. The report highlights the role of digital technologies in promoting […]
August 6, 2020

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy?

The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by all United Nations member states in 2015, provides a framework for tracking progress of specific development goals, and of more holistic and integrated patterns of development. The emphasis within the 2030 Agenda on national goals and targets, however, leaves open the question of how the SDGs will be implemented at the local level and grounded in local realities. In this context, policy makers are paying increasing attention to […]
August 5, 2020

Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The international development community recognizes the need to rethink development. Business-as-usual has not prevented the recent financial and food crises, climate change, persistent poverty and rising inequality. In the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we need to consider Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) as an important pathway to transforming the world for the better. The UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) was established to raise the visibility of the SSE in international knowledge and policy circles. We believe that SSE […]
September 8, 2014

UNTFSSE Position Paper – Social and Solidarity Economy and the Challenge of Sustainable Development

How can SSE best address some of the key challenges of the 21st century? What can it do for decent work, women’s well-being, greening the economy and transforming finance? This position paper has been prepared by members and observers of the TFSSE. It argues the post-2015 development agenda has paid insufficient attention to the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE). Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. SSE refers to the production of goods and services by a broad range of organizations and […]