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UNTFSSE 4th Technical Symposium: Advancing the Social and Solidarity Economy

On October 2-3, 2023, the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) attended its highly anticipated 4th Technical Symposium, in Montreal, Canada.

The UNTFSSE Fourth Technical Symposium brought together global policymakers, practitioners, and researchers, to explore effective implementation of the UNGA Resolution ‘Promoting the social and solidarity economy for sustainable development’, and to develop a new UNTFSSE Action Plan to this regard. The event was held in Montréal to benefit from Québec’s social economy experience, developed through joint action between the social economy movement and relevant government institutions and academics.

This technical symposium was held in partnership with the Government of Quebec, the City of Montreal, and the Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins. It brought together UNTFSSE Members (UN agencies including ILO, UNCTAD, UNRISD, ESCAP and others as well as OECD) and Observers, global and/or regional organizations that actively promote and engage in the promotion of the SSE:  Catalyst 2030, Centre for Socio-Economic Development (CSEND), Diesis Network, EMES, Euclid Network, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), EURICSE, Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV), Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF), RIPESS, CIRIEC, International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), Social Economy Europe and SSE International Forum.

High-level representatives participating in the event included the Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy of Quebec, the General Director of Caisse d’Économie Solidaire, and the Desjardins Group; and representatives from Senegal, France, Chile and Spain, four of the Member States that led the charge on the recently adopted UN General Assembly Resolution on “Promoting the social and solidarity economy for sustainable development” (A/RES/77/281). The Vice-President of the Spanish Government and Minister of Labour and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, represented Spain.

Key Symposium Highlights

UNTFSSE officials presented the Task Force’s action plan, setting the stage for in-depth discussions in breakout group. Attendees engaged in focused and interactive breakout sessions, delving into specific aspects of the resolution’s implementation including policy frameworks, education, financial mechanisms, localization and statistics.

The symposium provided networking opportunities among experts, practitioners, policymakers, and academics who share a commitment to sustainable development through social and solidarity economy.

Participants spent an afternoon on the second day visiting local SSE entities. UNTFSSE members were also invited to the National Assembly in Quebec to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the SSE law on October 4, 2023.

The event resulted in the task force re-affirming its commitment to advancing the SSE within the UN system and beyond. A draft of the action plan will be presented to Members and Observers at the next online meeting in December. “We made good progress at the symposium via five breakout sessions. We will follow up through technical working groups, e.g. on statistics and financing” said Simel Esim, UNTFSSE Co-Chair and Head of International Labour Organization’s Cooperatives Unit.

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