The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated on the first Saturday in July. The day promotes the role that cooperatives play in improving the lives of people around the world.
The day also highlights how cooperatives are working to build a more inclusive and sustainable world economy.
What are cooperatives?
Cooperatives are organizations that are owned and operated by their members. They are based on the principle of people working together for the benefit of all. Cooperatives can be found in many different sectors, such as agriculture, banking, energy, housing, and insurance.
There are several benefits to being a member of a cooperative. For example, cooperatives allow people to pool their resources and have a say in how the organization is run. They also often provide better services and products than their for-profit counterparts.
International Day of Cooperatives 2022: Theme
This year, the theme for the International Day of Cooperatives is “Cooperatives Build a Better World”– echoes the theme of the International Year.
History of 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.
Why celebrate cooperatives?
Cooperatives help to promote economic democracy by giving people a say in how their businesses are run. They also provide members with an opportunity to share in the profits of the business.
Cooperatives help to build strong communities by providing employment and training opportunities. They also help to keep money circulating within the community, rather than being sent out of the community.
Cooperatives are a great way to promote sustainable development. This is because they encourage members to use resources wisely and to think about the long-term impact of their actions.
So, there are many good reasons to celebrate cooperatives! They provide economic democracy, build strong communities, and promote sustainable development.
“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. This was amply highlighted at the 33rd World Cooperative Congress, held by the International Cooperative Alliance in December 2021, which focused a spotlight on how their shared identity is moving cooperatives to take action to address the world’s problems” declared Bruno Roelants, Director General of the ICA.
The United Nations invites cooperatives around the world to celebrate how the human-centred business model, inspired by the cooperative values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity and the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others, is building a better world.
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.
The 2022 Coopsday actions’ pack including the logo, key messages and other digital resources will be available soon.
The International Day of Cooperatives is a great opportunity for businesses to celebrate the benefits of the cooperative business model and to promote cooperation around the world. We hope that you will join us in celebrating this important day on July 2, 2022.