International Day of Cooperatives was proclaimed by the UN in 1992, but only in the recent years has the day grown in significance.
Globalisation and changing economy have highlighted the importance of the international cooperative movement and the idea of international community, and, to quote the UN secretary Ban Ki Moon, “The global financial and economic crisis has demonstrated the resilience of alternative financial institutions such as cooperative banks and credit unions.” 2012 was, thus, named the International Year of Cooperatives by the United Nations.
There are over 1.4 million cooperative businesses across the world, and over 3 billion people rely to cooperative businesses for their livelihood. In the UK, there are 5450 cooperative businesses. This year, we can expect to see a range of fairs, exhibits, contests, and campaigns world wide, all looking to raise awareness of cooperative businesses, and strengthen relationships between cooperatives and other actors such as governments.
UN secretary Ban Ki Moon says in his message for this year:
“On this International Day of Cooperatives, we celebrate how cooperatives build a better world by advancing sustainable development, social integration and decent work.
“Cooperatives empower their members and strengthen communities. They promote food security and enhance opportunities for small agricultural producers.
“By contributing to human dignity and global solidarity, cooperatives truly do build a better world.”
The theme for this year’s International Day of Cooperatives is “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.”
Also in July: