The United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) held its 4th Technical Symposium on 2-3 October 2023 in Montreal, Canada. As one of the founding observer organisations of the UNTFSSE, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) was represented at the event.
The ICA Director of Research, Hyungsik Eum, participated in two parallel sessions on education and statistics, respectively, during which he shared the experiences of various cooperatives and proposed future actions to develop the statistics on the SSE, inspired by the experience of statistics on cooperatives.
The event brought together around 50 participants, ranging from UN agencies, observer organisations, high-level representatives of different countries and local participants from Quebec. The opening plenary heard from Pierre Fitzgibbon, the Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy of Quebec; Luc Rabouin, Mayor of Plateau-Mont-Royal and member of the executive committee responsible for Economic Development, City of Montreal; Yolanda Diaz, Spain’s Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour and Social Economy; Victorine Anquediche Ndeye, Senegal Minister of Microfinance and the Social and Solidarity Economy; Claudia Fuentes Julio, Chilean Ambassador and Permanent Representative and Chair of the ILO Governing Body; Chantal Line Carpentier, Chair of the UNTFSSE and Isabelle Garon, First Vice-President, Marketing, Communications, Cooperation and Office of the President, Mouvement Desjardins. The Québec Council for Cooperation and Mutuality (CQCM) also shared its experience as a promoter of cooperative enterprises.
The symposium aimed to explore how to effectively implement the United Nations General Assembly resolution on Promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development adopted in 2023. The UNTFSSE aims to raise the visibility of the SSE within the UN system and beyond.
Participants also visited some SSE organisations in the Angus area, including cooperatives such as the Desjardins Caisse d’économie solidaire and La Chope Angus, a cooperative brasserie.
Since its creation, the UNTFSS has held three technical symposia where joint action plans were discussed and agreed upon: Rome (2016), Trento (2019), and online (2021). Task Force meetings are held virtually every two to three months.