“To promote the movement’s ideas of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace”: United Nations International Year of Cooperatives

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Cooperatives are answering the wake-up call of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who warned that the world is ‘on the edge of an abyss — and moving in the wrong direction’, and exclaimed that ‘to restore trust, and inspire hope, we need cooperation, we need dialogue, we need understanding’. For nearly two centuries, cooperatives have been pulling in this direction. […]

Operating all around the world, in many different sectors of economy, cooperatives have proven themselves more resilient to crises than the average. They foster economic participation, fight against environmental degradation and climate change, generate good jobs, contribute to food security, keep financial capital within local communities, build ethical value chains, and, by improving people’s material conditions and security, contribute to positive peace.

About the International Day of Cooperatives

Marked by cooperatives worldwide since 1923 and officially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on the centenary of the ICA in 1995, the International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July.

The aim of #CoopsDay is to increase awareness of cooperatives and promote the movement’s ideas of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace. Since 1995, the ICA and the United Nations through Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) have jointly set the theme for the celebration of #CoopsDay.

Through #CoopsDay, local, national and global policymakers, civil-society organisations and the public in general can learn about the contribution of cooperatives to a secure future for all.

Learn more about the International Day of Cooperatives 2022: Cooperatives Build a Better World >>

NEW YORK, 21 December (Department of Economic and Social Affairs) — The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development.  In adopting resolution 64/136 on 18 December, the Assembly noted that cooperatives impact poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration.

A cooperative is an autonomous voluntary association of people who unite to meet common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations, through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.  In general, they contribute to socio-economic development.

As self-help organizations that meet the needs of their members, cooperatives assist in generating employment and incomes throughout local communities.  Cooperatives provide opportunities for social inclusion.  In the informal economy, workers have formed shared service cooperatives and associations to assist in their self-employment.  In rural areas, savings and credit cooperatives provide access to banking services that are lacking in many communities and finance the formation of small and micro businesses, promotes inclusive finance.

The cooperative sector worldwide has about 800 million members in over 100 countries and is estimated to account for more than 100 million jobs around the world.  The strength and reach of cooperatives are illustrated in the following examples […]

International Years are declared by the United Nations to draw attention to major issues and encourage action.  […]

Source: United Nations Declares 2012 International Year of Cooperatives
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
Address : http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2009/dev2784.doc.htm
Date Visited: Tue Dec 13 2011 11:40:27 GMT+0100 (CET)

“The late anthropologist David Graeber, in the preface to his seminal work Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, concluded that: We have become a civilization based on work – not even productive work but work as an end and meaning in itself… half the time we are engaged in utterly meaningless or counter-productive activities – usually under orders of a person we dislike… [and] we rankle with resentment that there may be others out there that are not in the same trap.” | Read the full article by Richard Swift titled “Living Well” in New Internationalist #534 November-December 2021 | Education, development, and reform to counter debt bondage: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights revisited >>

In North India it is still common to reprimand a child: study or else you’ll cut grass; the prospect of manual work invoked as a threat. Education was valued because it could widen the distance from the labouring multitudes.

Source: Author and diplomat Pavan K. Varma in Being Indian: Inside the Real India (2005), p.104 | Find a library copy via Worldcat.org >>

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