The ILO takes part in a side event on the SSE at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly

The side event took place on Tuesday 19th of September at the World Economic Forum office in New York focusing on the role of the private sector in implementing the UN resolution on promoting the SSE for sustainable development.

News | 29 September 2023
The side event was co-organized by the World Economic Forum and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. It involved members of the Global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship as well as private sector actors such as SAP SE, Deloitte and Microsoft, and UN agency representatives from the ILO and UNCTAD.

The session focused on the role of the private sector in advancing the UN resolution on promoting the SSE for sustainable development. ILO’s Mia Seppo, Assistant Director-General, Jobs and Protection, was among the speakers reflecting on how the ILO engages with the private sector in general and how it sees engagement of the private sector vis a vis the social and solidarity economy.

In her remarks, Ms. Seppo noted that many SSE entities are micro small and medium enterprises operating in the informal and care economies, while others are large businesses in insurance, in agriculture, finance and retail. Regardless of their size, as employers all SSE entities need to respect worker’ rights, she pointed out. In addition, she suggested that socially responsible public and private procurement through SSE entities as a good practice.

With regard to the relationship between private sector and the SSE, Ms Seppo suggested that it is important that businesses in the supply chains act responsibly vis a vis producers and workers. As pathways, she noted that they can do this by: encouraging the establishment of SSE entities of workers and producers in the earlier stages of the supply chain, like producer organizations, saving and credit groups and unions; Improving the performance of SSE entities including around management of their operations, but also improving the conditions of work for their workers; and Setting up quotes and purchasing goods and services specifically from SSE entities in local communities.

She concluded her words, by highlighting that all actors, including those in the public and private sector, have a role to play in the implementation of the UN resolution on promoting the SSE for sustainable development. She highlighted one of the recommendations of the UN resolution which encourages multilateral, international and regional financial institutions and development banks to support the SSE, including through existing and new financial instruments and mechanisms adapted to all stages of development.