ILC resolution concerning decent work and the social and solidarity economy discussed at an event organized by INGOs

The webinar was organized by INSP!R, WSM, WIEGO, RIPESS and IYCW, with the participation of the ILO, to discuss future opportunities and challenges for the social and solidarity economy following the Resolution concerning decent work and SSE that was adopted at the 110th International Labour Conference.

News | 27 February 2023
The webinar took place on 23 February 2023 with panelists from the ILO, UNTFSSE, ITUC and Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) support organizations. It aimed to discuss future challenges for the SSE with trade unions, civil society, ILO and other UN institutions. It examined the possible positive impacts, and challenges for grassroots organizations in two separate sessions.

Ms Judith Hitchman from RIPESS welcomed and thanked the participants at the beginning of the first session of the webinar. She introduced RIPESS, a network of members from more the 75 countries committed to the promotion of the SSE. She highlighted the global challenges, including prevailing poverty, inequality, and the pandemic. She noted that the SSE can contribute to changing the vicious cycle of the crises into a virtuous cycle.

Ms Simel Esim, Head of the Cooperatives Unit at the ILO provided highlights from the Resolution concerning decent work and the SSE that was adopted during the 110th International Labour Conference in 2022. She pointed out that the resolution included a tripartite international definition of the SSE that is based on its values and principles.

She noted that the SSE is receiving global policy recognition for the role it plays in priority areas such as crisis response, transition from the informal economy, decent work in supply chains, care economy, platform economy and just transition. In addition to the ILC resolution, she mentioned noteworthy developments include the OECD recommendation on the SSE and social innovation, European Commission’s action plan on the social economy, and the upcoming UN resolution on the SSE and sustainable development.

Ms Esim added SSE entities face challenges, including lack of adequate participation, policies exacerbating informality, poverty, indebtedness, weak rule of law, legal uncertainty, inadequate access to finance, unfair competition, and trade practices. She noted the need for governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations to work with SSE entities to help fulfil their potential. Simel also introduced the seven-year office wide strategy and action plan on decent work and the SSE (2023-2029) that was agreed upon by the ILO’s governing body in November last year. This has outlined the work that ILO will further engage in to promote the SSE with the partners.

Representing the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Ms Toni Moore, the General Secretary of the Barbados Workers' Union, shared her excitement with the recently adopted ILC Resolution. She emphasized that it is critical for a change to an economy that has inclusivity and promotes sustainable development. She also explained how the trade unions’ values and principles and those of the SSE are well-aligned.

Ms Moore said that the trade union movement advocates for achieving economic growth with inclusivity and sustainability, touching upon the SDG 1 on No Poverty. The role of the trade unions in achieving gender equality (SDG 5) and decent work (SDG 8) are closely associated with the SSE approach. She also mentioned that there can be ‘no job on a dead planet’, supporting trade union and the SSEs collective action to protect the eco-system and environment. She concluded by welcoming again the ILO’s Resolution concerning decent work and the SSE and mentioning that the trade unions will continue to promote for a sustainable economy model.

Ms. Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and current Chair of the UN Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE), explained the progress and preparation for the UN Resolution on the SSE and sustainable. She noted that the draft is being developed by a core group of fourteen Member States, led by Spain with the support of Chile and Senegal. This process may bear fruit as early as late March or early April this year, she added. Concluding her remarks, she stated that there is a need to go beyond our conventional measurement of the economy (with GDP), and for a new economy and with new measures.

Ms. Sonia George from SEWA Kerala presented on why the ILO Resolution is important for informal workers. She said there are three priorities for workers vis a vis the SSE. Constructing new models of local economy that is self-sustaining through the SSE is one priority. Other two priorities are collective ownership and access to resources, including commons, material, and financial resources.

The first segment of this webinar concluded with questions and answers. A recording of the webinar is available through here.