Happy International Day of Co-operatives!

Jul 2, 2016

Today, the 2nd of July, we celebrate the International Day of Co-operatives, which focus on a concept of extreme importance: A sustainable future for all of us.

The slogan of the 2016 International Day of Co-operatives, “Co-operatives: The Power to Act for a Sustainable Future”, was chosen to emphasize the co-operative contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is proud and honored to partner with the United Nations in the achievement of the Goals.

As we celebrate the International Day of Co-operatives, let’s put the spotlight on the co-operative business model and explain how co-operative businesses are able to release their power to act to build a better living for all:

Cooperative economic success and democratic governance ensures that no one is left behind and therefore contributes to eradicating poverty.

Cooperatives are instrumental to achieve food security and help end hunger by allowing farmers to produce more and better quality food through the power of the collective. Cooperatives help to empower women in the world, especially in countries where they are vulnerable. In particular, cooperatives provide women with employment opportunities, and contribute to financial inclusion and literacy efforts. Another example in the insurance sector is the project 5-5-5 launched by the International Co-operative and Mutual Insurance Federation. This global co-operative initiative aims to reach 5 million people in 5 countries for a total of 25 million uninsured low-income households that will be covered with micro-insurance plans for risk and resilience. The slogan of the International Day of Co-operatives also echoes with the 2016 International Summit of Co-operatives which will gather, this year, over 3 000 participants from more than one hundred countries, around a rich program based on the theme: “Co-operatives: The Power to Act”. The 2016 Summit will allocate a full day on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals while gathering co-operators, global agencies, and world-renowned experts, towards resolving these global issues. Together, they will focus on providing concrete solutions regarding food security, employment, access to health care & social service, poverty & financial inclusion and climate change & sustainable development.

So, on the International Day of Co-operatives, I encourage all cooperators in the world to share how we contribute to the Goals by making a pledge on our Coops for 2030 platform.

Co-operatives are there to support people and communities, co-operatives are true builders of sustainable development. More than ever, the world needs cooperation!

I wish you a happy International Day of Co-operatives!