SOCIAL SOLIDARITY ECONOMY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE POST-2015 AGENDA
The Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS), that connects thousands of local, national and regional Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) networks in five continents, would like to share a set of recommendations for the post-2015 Development Agenda with the United Nations Offices and the Representatives of various States.
We wish to collectively express our deep concerns about the four High Level Reports presented to the Executive Secretary Ban Ki Mon, and about his proposal presented during the 68th General Assembly in September 2013 on the occasion of a special event on the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals. We believe that the proposals can not properly address the enormous challenges which humankind is facing, given the multiple systemic global crises that result from the prevailing economic model of neoliberalism that has dominated our world in recent decades.
RIPESS recommends that Governments adopt the recommendations available in the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) report “Advancing Regional Recommendations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda”. This report was based on the outcomes of a thorough consultation with several Networks and Movements on 5 continents, and was officially handed to the UN State Members by the President of the 68th session of the General Assembly on September 25, 2013 (for more information, click here: http://www.un-ngls.org/spip.php?page=article_s&id_article=4350).
The proposals that follow are based on some of these recommendations (with amendments). They are viewed by the Social Solidarity Economy movement as being crucial to enabling a real paradigm shift in the development model, and they are based on existing practice. The Social Solidarity Economy is part of the answer that is needed today, and thus must be adequately recognized and supported. The recommendations are organized in 4 axes: 1 – Indicators to measure poverty, inequality and development; 2 – Transitioning to a Fair, Social and Solidarity Economy; 3 – Adopting a human rights-based approach to development; and 4 – Participation and transparency in international instances/processes.
1. INDICATORS TO MEASURE POVERTY, INEQUALITY AND DEVELOPMENT
1.1 The eradication of extreme poverty is only possible if extreme wealth is eradicated: Concentration of wealth (in finance, land or property) must be considered in its true light: an obstacle to development.We thus recommend that the fundamental motto of the MDGs post-2015 be “To achieve Equity in Diversity for all”.
1.2 Paradigmatic change of development indicators: There are several non-monetary aspects that are present in a healthy society, like self-production and consumption, care work, community relationships, collective task forces, food sovereignty, including local peasant and family farmers’ rights to traditional and heritage seed saving and preservation, exchange and their right to resow these seeds, and to practice agroecology, direct producer-consumer distribution chains, sharing, respectful gender diversity and balance, respect of, and learning from traditional culture and respect for all racial differences, access to clean environment, water, land, livelihood and public health and education, among others. The indigenous nations in Latin America propose an integrated view of development, called BUEN VIVIR. In Asia there is the concept of the Gross National Happiness Index. These frameworks offer a set of qualitative and quantitative indicators that provide a more holistic measure of the level of development and health of a nation. We have rich examples of public policies and constitutional laws in different countries that are based on these premises.
We recommend that these indicators be considered as the reference to evaluate poverty, inequality and development in the MDGs.
1.3 Adopt a goal on reversing growing inequalities that would include: (i) a thorough assessment of the structural causes of inequalities; and (ii) targeted measures to overcome them.
2. TRANSITIONING TO A FAIR, SOCIAL AND SOLIDARITY ECONOMY
There are hundreds of thousands of economic initiatives on all continents based on collective practices, which are intrinsically inclusive and rooted in the community, and that generate active citizenship by the way in which its members interact. Women’s emancipation, religious and racial equality, and a respect for diversity are integral and essential parts of these processes. This approach preserves and includes indigenous and traditional cultures in their practices, creates decent work, local ownership and reinvestments within the community.
These characteristics are naturally embedded in SSE initiatives as part of their economic activity, which comprises various sectors, including the production of goods and services, trade, local distribution and value chains, consumption, finance, natural resource management, among many others. In rural areas, peasant farmers are responsible for a myriad of agroecological initiatives that successfully guarantee the right to food sovereignty in the territories. These initiatives preserve the planet, provide decent work, contribute to the fight against climate change through a global reduction of agro-chemical inputs and GMO (genetically modified organisms) products. These methods have also scientifically been proven to produce higher yields than those used by industrial agriculture.
2.1 Clear goals and indicators for public policies and mechanisms to create a favourable environment to enable Social Solidarity Economy to flourish, in terms of funding, supportive tax measures, criteria for public procurement, adequate legal frameworks and access to education.
- Prioritize investment in small-scale agroecological and organic food production to serve local consumption needs over export markets; promote land reform and redistribution. Legislate protective measures to prevent land grabs.
- Create SSE-appropriate legislative and legal frameworks, providing low-cost capital, social and ecological criteria for solidarity-based public procurement and funding for development aid in these fields.
2.2 Guarantee that Development Funds aimed at fostering economic development be transferred via local tools of solidarity economy finance, such as community banks (owned and managed by the community), rotating funds (ROSCAs) and local credit cooperatives, since they are the most appropriate actors for funding local development.
2.3 Ensure universal access to the Commons (water, public land, energy, air, forests, biodiversity, diversity, peace, education, health, etc.) that are the public assets of all citizens, and that therefore should therefore not be commodified or privatized. (a) Promote policies that are fully inclusive and distributive: ensure universal access to essential public services. (b) Adopt natural resource management approaches such as territorial management planning, common-pool resource management, and the ecosystems approach to establish local, democratic, holistic management of natural resources that ensures sustainability and equitable use and distribution of benefits. (c) Ensure clear goals for achievingfood sovereignty are put in place with the relevant national and local stakeholders.
2.4 Promote the diversification of national economies towards more localized, employment-intensive forms of production and consumption, shifting away from resource-intensive means such as reliance on primary commodity exports (such as extractivism, mining, monoculture).
2.5 Subject existing partnerships of States with the corporate sector, including “public-private partnerships” to binding accountability and transparency mechanisms, aligned with the imperatives of human rights and environmental protection.
2.6 Implement goals of direct accountability not only for corporations but also investors, &s to the positive and negative impacts that result from corporations’ activities and projects in which they invest.
2.7 Adopt a goal of full and decent employment for all, articulating all four pillars of the ILO Decent Work Agenda, and add to it the right to collective work and the immigrant workers right.
2.8 Review international trade and investment agreements that restrict the ability of governments to regulate trade and foreign investments in the public interest, impose barriers to technology transfer, prevent fair taxation, and include other measures not consistent with the objectives of sustainable development.
2.9 Ensure that the trade architecture provides the flexibility for developing countries to adapt trade policies to protect the livelihoods of small producers and foster nascent domestic industries, including by giving Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) serious weight, operationalization, and legal status for developing countries in the next phase of negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO). We recommend WTO to remove the issue of food from negotiations and therefore end the commodification of and speculation on food.
2.10 Reform the international financial architecture, implementing a range of measures to prevent the socialization of the costs of corporate malpractices; increase financial regulation and reverse the financialization of the economy in a manner that would allow for a sustained shift of resources from the financial economy to the real economy. Establish clear goals to help eradicate tax havens.
2.11 Reform and democratize international financial institutions to ensure that they: (i) give much greater voice to developing countries, particularly Least Developed Countries, (ii) genuinely respond to national and regional circumstances and priorities; (iii) catalyze productive investment; and (iv) abide by the international human rights obligations of States.
2.12 Energy matrix shift: (a) Eradicate subsidies to the fossil fuel and nuclear industries; end subsidies to carbon-emitting trans-national corporations; and adopt/enforce the principle of “polluter pays” through quantifiable goals and measures. (b) Promote carbon-free sources of energy, including the expansion of solar and wind energy and small-scale hydropower; aggressively phase out fossil fuel and nuclear energy, both of which carry substantial financial, environmental and social liabilities.
2.13 Effectively address climate change: Conclude a fair, ambitious and binding international climate change agreement, which should: ensure that the parameters for reducing greenhouse gas emissions follow the ecological limits and timelines defined by science; focus on non-market, community, agroecological and social solidarity-based mechanisms to address climate change.
3. ADOPT A HUMAN RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT
3.1 Adopt the international human rights framework, including all international human rights agreements covering the full range of economic, social, cultural, civil, political and ecological rights, as well as the necessary human rights accountability mechanisms, to guide policy formulation and evaluate impacts at national and international levels.
3.2 Focus support for ensuring the rights of marginalized people, particularly those confronted by intersecting inequalities based on gender, age, class, ethnicity, indigeneity, sexual orientation, gender identity, (dis)abilities, and/or status as migrants, asylum-seekers or refugees, many of whom have been systematically, historically and continually excluded. Sexual and reproductive health and rights should also be included.
3.3 Adopt goals focused on the rights of the youth for a peaceful future with decent work and quality of life. Youth Social Solidarity Economy initiatives should be promoted, in this sense.
3.4 Subject extractive industries to human rights and sustainable development imperatives, by (a) adopting strong regulatory frameworks to hold extractive industries to account for human rights and environmental abuses. (b) Respecting, protecting and fulfilling Indigenous peoples’ rights to free, prior and informed consent, to self-determination and to traditional land, territories and resources, as they are disproportionately affected by harmful practices of extractive industries and land-grabbing. (c) Valorize and promote community-based associative initiatives that have a low environmental impact instead of the extractivism of transnational corporations.
3.5 Eradicate the barriers to the free circulation of people between different countries.
4. PARTICIPATION AND TRANSPARENCY IN INTERNATIONAL INSTANCES/PROCESSES
4.1 Support the effective, clear and open participation mechanisms of the Social Solidarity Economy Movement in the recently created UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy.
4.2 We recommend that, as one of its first actions, the UN Task Force on Social Solidarity Economy starts a yearly UN Inter-Agency Conference on Advances and Challenges of SSE, converging the existing ILO Academy on SSE and the UNRISD Conference in a single, integrated and strengthened activity.
4.3 Full public disclosure of the negotiations and documents around the process of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and inclusion of consultation mechanisms for the participation of civil society actors of the region.
4.4 Fulfill the rights to participate in and access to information in post-2015 processes, and ensure that these rights, along with the right of access to justice, are respected, protected and fulfilled in all national and international governance.
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