July 7 – International Day of Cooperatives: Celebrating Cooperative Enterprises and Their Contributions to Sustainable Development

July 7 – International Day of Cooperatives

July 7 is recognized as International Day of Cooperatives, a day dedicated to honoring and celebrating the great contributions of cooperative enterprises to sustainable development, economic growth, and social equity. This global observance was established by the United Nations in 1995, and it has been celebrated annually ever since. The theme for this year’s International Day of Cooperatives is “Rebuild better together”, which highlights the role of cooperatives in supporting communities through times of crisis and helping to build a more resilient and inclusive future.

Cooperatives, also known as co-ops, are member-owned businesses that provide services and products to meet the common needs and aspirations of their members. They operate on the principles of voluntary and open membership, democratic control, and economic participation by all members. Cooperatives can take many forms, including agricultural cooperatives, credit unions, worker cooperatives, and consumer cooperatives. These enterprises are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, equality, and solidarity.

The History of International Day of Cooperatives

The idea of an international day to celebrate cooperatives was first proposed by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in 1923. However, it wasn’t until 1992 that the ICA received official recognition from the United Nations to establish a day to celebrate cooperatives. In 1995, the UN General Assembly officially declared the first Saturday of July as the International Day of Cooperatives. Since then, this day has been used to create awareness about the importance of cooperatives in economic and social development, and to promote the cooperative model.

Each year, the ICA chooses a different theme to highlight the cooperative principles and values on International Day of Cooperatives. Over the years, these themes have included “Promoting the Sustainable Development of Cooperatives for Poverty Reduction”, “Cooperative Enterprises Achieving Sustainable Development for All”, and “Inclusion”, among others. These themes provide a platform for cooperatives to showcase their achievements and their potential to contribute to global development.

Moreover, since 2020, the ICA has designated a different slogan for the International Day of Cooperatives to complement the annual theme. These slogans have focused on promoting the cooperative identity, such as “Cooperatives for Climate Action”, “Cooperatives for Decent Work”, and “Cooperatives: Looking to the Future”.

The Importance of Cooperatives

Cooperatives are essential for sustainable development, as they promote social and economic growth, reduce inequalities, and support environmental sustainability. By pooling resources and working together, cooperative enterprises can provide vital services and products to their members and the wider community. This can range from providing financial services, such as loans and banking services, to supplying agricultural products, insurance services, and healthcare.

Cooperatives also play a crucial role in empowering marginalized and disadvantaged groups, such as women, youth, and indigenous communities. By providing a platform for these groups to collaborate and participate in decision-making, cooperatives can help to reduce discrimination and promote social inclusion. Additionally, cooperatives are instrumental in promoting a more sustainable and equitable economic system by creating jobs, generating wealth, and fostering local development.

Moreover, cooperatives are known for their resilience and adaptability during times of crisis. In times of natural disasters, wars, and economic downturns, cooperatives have proven to be more resilient than traditional businesses. This is because cooperatives are owned and controlled by their members, who have a shared stake in the success of the business. Therefore, cooperatives prioritize supporting their members and communities, rather than maximizing profits.

How You Can Celebrate International Day of Cooperatives

There are many ways to celebrate International Day of Cooperatives and show your support for these vital enterprises. Here are a few ideas:

  • Join a cooperative: Consider becoming a member of a cooperative in your community, or start your own cooperative with like-minded individuals who share a common goal.
  • Support cooperatives: Purchase products and services from cooperatives that align with your values and contribute to sustainable development.
  • Spread the word: Share information about cooperatives and the International Day of Cooperatives on social media and with your networks. Use the hashtag #CoopsDay to join the global conversation.
  • Volunteer: Get involved with a cooperative and contribute your time and skills to support their work. You can also participate in community events organized by cooperatives on this day.
  • Educate yourself: Learn more about cooperatives and their impact on sustainable development by reading articles and watching documentaries about the cooperative model.

Cooperatives, also known as co-ops, are member-owned businesses that provide services and products to meet the common needs and aspirations of their members.

These enterprises are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, equality, and solidarity.

The idea of an international day to celebrate cooperatives was first proposed by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in 1923.

Over the years, these themes have included “Promoting the Sustainable Development of Cooperatives for Poverty Reduction”, “Cooperative Enterprises Achieving Sustainable Development for All”, and “Inclusion”, among others.

Moreover, since 2020, the ICA has designated a different slogan for the International Day of Cooperatives to complement the annual theme.

Cooperatives are essential for sustainable development, as they promote social and economic growth, reduce inequalities, and support environmental sustainability.

By providing a platform for these groups to collaborate and participate in decision-making, cooperatives can help to reduce discrimination and promote social inclusion.

In times of natural disasters, wars, and economic downturns, cooperatives have proven to be more resilient than traditional businesses.

Here are a few ideas:

Consider becoming a member of a cooperative in your community, or start your own cooperative with like-minded individuals who share a common goal.

Share information about cooperatives and the International Day of Cooperatives on social media and with your networks.

Get involved with a cooperative and contribute your time and skills to support their work.

You can also participate in community events organized by cooperatives on this day.

Learn more about cooperatives and their impact on sustainable development by reading articles and watching documentaries about the cooperative model.

July 7 - International Day of Cooperatives: Celebrating Cooperative Enterprises and Their Contributions to Sustainable DevelopmentJuly 7 - International Day of Cooperatives: Celebrating Cooperative Enterprises and Their Contributions to Sustainable DevelopmentJuly 7 - International Day of Cooperatives: Celebrating Cooperative Enterprises and Their Contributions to Sustainable DevelopmentJuly 7 - International Day of Cooperatives: Celebrating Cooperative Enterprises and Their Contributions to Sustainable DevelopmentJuly 7 - International Day of Cooperatives: Celebrating Cooperative Enterprises and Their Contributions to Sustainable DevelopmentJuly 7 - International Day of Cooperatives: Celebrating Cooperative Enterprises and Their Contributions to Sustainable DevelopmentJuly 7 - International Day of Cooperatives: Celebrating Cooperative Enterprises and Their Contributions to Sustainable DevelopmentJuly 7 - International Day of Cooperatives: Celebrating Cooperative Enterprises and Their Contributions to Sustainable DevelopmentJuly 7 - International Day of Cooperatives: Celebrating Cooperative Enterprises and Their Contributions to Sustainable DevelopmentJuly 7 - International Day of Cooperatives: Celebrating Cooperative Enterprises and Their Contributions to Sustainable Development

#CoopsDay #RebuildBetterTogether #Cooperatives #SustainableDevelopment