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New York, September 26th 2018 – ILGSSE High Level Meeting

New York, 26 September 2018 – On the occasion of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, the International Leading Group on Social and Solidarity Economy (ILGSSE) – chaired by France and coordinated by the association SSE International Forum – brought together seven States, UN agencies, SSE Organizations and Civil Society to address one of the major challenges of our time for our people to live in dignity: employment and work.

To rise this challenge, all the participants have agreed on the potential of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE). This model makes it possible to redirect entrepreneurial activity, create decent and quality jobs, take advantage of changes in the world of work and strengthen social cohesion in our societies.

Three initiatives illustrated the opportunity that the Social and Solidarity Economy represents in terms of employment and work. The first, the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel, presented by Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification generates “50 million hectares to work, 10 million jobs and 250 million of tons of CO2 sequestered“. Then, a French initiative, Territories Zero Unemployed Long-Term (TZCDL, acronym in French), applied in ten territories and offering all residents deprived of employment for more than a year to create a permanent position for them to measure, in according to the know-how and aspirations of the people. Originally from Canada, Coop la Guilde is the largest video game development co-op that in its three years of existence has managed to employ 2,200 full-time people.

Thierry Jeantet and Abdou Salam Fall of the SSE Forum International have shown that the SSE is the breeding ground for many jobs in a wide variety of fields. Indeed, wherever we innovate for societal goals, where we care about sustainability, quality of human and social life, territorial and social proximity, economic solidarity, social actors come together to undertake, insert and create truly human jobs.

They recalled the three working groups of the Leading Group namely the international guide on the laws favorable to the ESS, the indicators of the contributions of the SSE to the transformation of the companies and finally, the upcoming conference on the financing of the SSE. To these are added the text on the SSE to submit to the adoption of a resolution of the next UN General Assembly and the migration issue to which the response of social entrepreneurship will have to be explained and valued.

The goal of all members of the GPIESS, as Christophe Itier, High Commissioner for the SSE and Social Innovation, Ministry of the Ecological and Solidarity Transition of the French Republic, recalled, is “to change scale the ESS, make it more visible and readable to make better public policies. ” Betting on the SSE is even more relevant as there is no doubt that the SSE is a strategic means for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and conversely, the SDGs are the guiding principle of the social and solidarity economic model.

Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, referred to the opening statement of the UN General Assembly by the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, who deplores lack of trust in our societies. For Alston, trust and solidarity are two related concepts: “We cannot believe, we cannot trust someone who does not show solidarity with us, someone who tries to take advantage of us“. This same reflection can be applied at the scale of a globalized economy. Our economic relations must be based on trust and solidarity.

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