Raising awareness on the social and solidarity economy in Viet Nam

On August 31st the ILO organized a brown bag meeting to inform UN agencies on the ILC and UN Resolutions concerning the social and solidarity economy and the regional project.

News | 01 September 2023
Participants learn about the social and solidarity economy at brown bag session in Viet Nam
The ILO’s session on the social and solidarity economy (SSE) and ILO’s support in Asia-Pacific increased the UN staff in Viet Nam’s understanding of the social and solidarity economy, serving as a basis for collaborations.

The session was held in a hybrid format in Hanoi, Viet Nam on 31 August 2023, and was attended by 31 ILO national project coordinators and UN staff. The objective was to share updates on the social and solidarity economy project in Asia aligned with the UN Resolution on Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development and the Resolution concerning decent work and the social and solidarity economy, adopted at the 110th International Labour Conference in June 2022.

Ms. Pauline Tamesis, UN Resident Coordinator for Viet Nam, introduced the session as an opportunity to learn about the social and solidarity economy, relevant to the 2030 SDG Summit on 18-19 September 2023 where Member States will gather to take stock of the progress made for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and discuss ways to accelerate progress towards reaching the SDGs.

Ms. Ingrid Christensen, Director of ILO Viet Nam noted the timeliness of the discussion in Viet Nam, given the recent adoption of the amended law on cooperatives, and the government’s policy on promoting the collective economy.

Ms. Simel Esim, ILO COOP/SSE Manager introduced the global definition of the social and solidarity economy, and the recommendations of the resolution of the International Labour Conference on decent work and the SSE and the resolution of the UN on promoting the SSE for sustainable development. Ms. Heejin Ahn, Technical Officer introduced the regional project, consisting of a study to understand the social and solidarity economy landscape, its contribution to the SDGs, and its challenges, opportunities, and policy recommendations; and to create and inform policy dialogue around strengthening the social and solidarity economy.

A participant noted that the social and solidarity economy’s concept overlaps with other terms, such as circular economy and social impact businesses. Ms. Ahn responded that while these terms have similarities, such as their contribution to social, economic, and environmental objectives, SSE entities distinguish themselves in their ownership, governance structure and the management of profits and assets, according to the global definition.

A participant asked about the role of the social and solidarity economy in the transition from the informal to the formal economy for entities and workers. Ms. Esim noted that SSE entities can support the formalization of informal economy workers and their enterprises. But as employers SSE entities also need to be abiding by labour laws and other regulations, ensuring that the jobs they create are quality jobs that are undertaken in conditions of freedom, dignity, security and equity.

This event was held as part of the Strengthening the social and solidarity economy in Asia – phase 2 project , funded by the Ministry of Employment and Labour, Republic of Korea aims to contribute to increased awareness on the SSE’s contribution to decent work and sustainable development, and create policy dialogue in five countries in Asia and the Pacific - Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Thailand, Viet Nam.