International Day of Cooperatives

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International Day of Cooperatives

The United Nations’ International Day of Cooperatives has been celebrated every year on the 1st Saturday of July, since 1923. The aim of this celebration is to increase awareness of cooperatives. The event accentuates the contributions of the cooperative movement to resolving the major problems addressed by the United Nations and to strengthen the partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors. Let us get an insight into the importance of cooperatives and the history of the International Day of Cooperatives.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and climate emergency have both revealed the fragility of our societies and our planet. These dual crises are disproportionately affecting the world’s most vulnerable countries and people, and deepening many social and economic rifts. They also make clear the need to strengthen global cooperation and solidarity.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

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The Co-operatives Movement

Co-operatives are autonomous associations and enterprises through which citizens can voluntarily unite to make their lives better by contributing to the economic, social, cultural as well as political advancement of their community and nation. 

According to the UN, around 3 million cooperatives around the world comprise 12% of the world population and employ 280 million people across the globe (10% of the world’s employed population).

Co-operatives follow a people-centred approach and distribute wealth in a more fair way. Their principle is  ‘members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative.’ They foster a community based approach and are committed to the sustainable development of their communities – environmentally, socially and economically. 

History of the International Day of Cooperatives

The United Nations’ International Day of Cooperatives, also known as CoopsDay was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly by resolution 47/90 of 16 December 1992, following a concerted effort by the cooperative members of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) and COPAC (committee for the promotion and advancement of cooperatives) members. 

The date of the celebration of the International  Cooperative Day was chosen to coincide with the already existing International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) that was founded in 1895, as one of the oldest non-governmental organizations representing 3 billion cooperatives and 1 billion cooperative members on the planet. In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly adopted another resolution 49/151 of 23 December 1994 on cooperatives and invited…

“…governments, relevant international organizations, specialized agencies, and national and international cooperative organizations to observe annually the International Day of Cooperatives on the first Saturday of July starting from 1995, as proclaimed by the General Assembly in its resolution 47/90″.

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International Day of Cooperatives Theme 2021: Rebuild Better Together

This year, the International Day of Cooperatives is scheduled to be celebrated on 3rd July 2021. Cooperatives around the world will showcase how they are meeting the COVID-19 pandemic crisis with solidarity and resilience and offering communities a people-centred and environmentally just recovery.

#CoopsDay will be the occasion to spread the word about how a human-centred business model, sustained by the cooperative values of self-help and solidarity and the ethical values of social responsibility and concern for community, can reduce inequality, create shared prosperity and respond to the immediate impacts of COVID-19.

How is International Day of Cooperatives Celebrated

  • The ICA and United Nations translate their messages into local languages and widely circulate it to cooperators, media, and government officials at all levels.
  • Newspapers and other media are used to create awareness by issuing a press release on the occasion of the International Day of Cooperatives. 
  • Cooperative Fairs, exhibits, contests, and campaigns are held.
  • Meetings with government officials, United Nations agencies and other partner organisations are held.
  • Cooperatives partner with community agencies to champion economic, environmental, social and health challenges (blood drives, tree planting, etc.)

We hope you liked this blog on The United Nations’ International Day of Cooperatives and were able to understand how cooperatives work relentlessly to achieve social objectives such as overcoming poverty, securing productive employment and much more! For more blogs on upcoming events and days, follow our space at Leverage Edu!

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