International Day of Co-operatives

International Co-operative Day is an annual celebration of the co-operative movement observed on the first Saturday in July since 1923 by the International Co-operative Alliance. Co-operatives around the world celebrate the day in various fashions and each year the organising institutions agree on a theme for the celebrations.

International Day of Co-operatives

On December 16, 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed in resolution 47/90 “the first Saturday of July 1995 to be International Day of Cooperatives, marking the centenary of the establishment of the International Cooperative Alliance. Since 1995 the United Nations’ International Day of Co-operatives has been observed jointly alongside International Co-operative Day.

Co-operatives around the world celebrate the day in various fashions and each year the organising institutions agree on a theme for the celebrations. Cooperatives around the world celebrate the International Day of Cooperatives in many ways. Activities include: messages from the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the UN translated into local languages for worldwide distribution; news articles and radio programs publicizing the awareness of the day; fairs, exhibits, contests and campaigns focused on the topics related to the day; meetings with government officials, UN agencies and other partner organizations; economic, environmental, social and health challenges (such as tree planting); and sponsored cultural events such as theatres and concerts.

Cooperatives are important in the world’s economic and social development. Based as on the principle of cooperation, cooperatives help create new ethics and values in business and economics. In 1895 ICA was formed and since 1927 it observes the first Saturday of July as International Cooperative Day. In 1994 the United Nations recognized and reaffirmed that cooperatives were vital in the world’s economic, social and cultural development. However two years earlier – on December 16, 1992 – the UN General Assembly proclaimed the first Saturday of July 1995 as the International Day of Cooperatives, marking the centenary of ICA’s establishment.

The United Nations’ logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event.  The International Day of Cooperatives happens the first Saturday of every July and embraces the idea of equality among cooperatives.

It promotes the idea of the cooperative movement which presents a combination of global reach and needs-based business conduct. This helps to reduce poverty by giving people a platform to be heard both inside organisations and in society.

This day particularly celebrates equality and that it is among the guiding values for the cooperative enterprises. Making the 2015 event even more important is that it has been 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for gender equality and women’s empowerment was adopted. Building on this, a post-2015 development agenda will also be taken on at the end of the year, by UN Member States, to continue progress made by the millennium Deevelopment goals (MDGs).

Aims of this day :
• Increase awareness on cooperatives;
• Highlight the complementarily of the goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international cooperative movement;
• Underscore the contribution of the movement to the resolution of the major problems addressed by the United Nations;
• Strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors, including governments, at local, national and international levels.

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