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ESCAP and ECLAC deepen engagement with UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE)

19 June 2024|Briefing note

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC / CEPAL) have both formalized their membership in the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE). This development builds upon years of collaboration and aims to enhance the implementation of the United Nations General Assembly resolution “Promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development” (A/77/281) within their respective regions.

The Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) encompasses entities engaged in economic, social and environmental activities to serve the serve the collective and/or general interest. Depending on national circumstances, these entities include cooperatives, associations, mutual societies, foundations, social enterprises, self-help groups and others operating in accordance with the values and principles of the SSE. Globally, the SSE plays a vital role in advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, contributing to an inclusive, job-rich, resilient and sustainable recovery.

ESCAP’s Mr. Jonathon Wong, Chief of Innovation, Enterprise and Investment in the Trade, Investment and Innovation Division, noted that the UN Resolution “sends a strong signal that Governments around the world are committed to promoting an economic model that prioritizes people and planet” and that he looks forward to leveraging the task forces’ collective efforts to continue to promote the Social and Solidarity Economy across the Asia Pacific region.

ECLAC’s Mr. Felipe Correa, Expert, Production, Productivity and Management Division, reiterated these sentiments highlights that in Latin America and the Caribbean, “significant work is needed to promote SSE policies as part of productive development, combining more democratic forms of enterprise management with better productivity returns, leading to higher incomes and greater well-being for the people”.

Ms Simel Esim, Co-Chair of UNTFSSE and Head of the Cooperative, Social and Solidarity Economy at the ILO, welcomed the institutionalization of membership within the UNTFSSE by Regional Commissions, including ESCWA and now ESCAP and ECLAC. She noted that this step strengthens their capacity to localize and advance the sustainable development goals through the SSE. She further emphasized the need to integrate the SSE more thoroughly into the planning and programming of UN development system entities, including UN country teams, with a particular focus on the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework.

Ms Chantal Line Carpentier, Co-Chair of the UNTFSSE and Head of Trade, Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainable Development at UN Trade and Development, highlighted that these new levels of collaboration present an opportunity to harness both ECLAC and ESCAP’s expertise and networks in their respective region towards creating a conducive environment for policies and institutions of the SSE both at regional and national levels. She added that their enhanced involvement reflects a growing understanding of the key role of SSE within the UN System and beyond as we just marked the One Year Anniversary of the Resolution.

About the UNTFSSE: The UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) aims to raise the visibility of Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) within the UN system and beyond. The Members and Observers of the Task Force have committed to undertake collaborative activities to: enhance the visibility of SSE entities, promote knowledge exchange, establish enabling institutional frameworks, and bolster international cooperation, in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 About UNECLAC: The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, known as ECLAC, UNECLAC or in Spanish and Portuguese CEPAL, is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations, and is headquartered in Santiago, Chile. It was founded with the purpose of contributing to the economic development of Latin America, coordinating actions directed towards this end, and reinforcing economic ties among countries and with other nations of the world. The promotion of the region’s social development was later included among its primary objectives. It is headquartered in Santiago, Chile.

About UNESCAP: The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), ESCAP is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations and the most inclusive intergovernmental platform in the Asia-Pacific region. The Commission promotes cooperation among its 53 member States and 9 associate members in pursuit of solutions to sustainable development challenges. ESCAP is headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand.