08 Dec 2017
The contribution of co-operatives to addressing the developmental challenges of the least developed countries and opportunities for leveraging the resources of co-operatives are explored in-depth
A report of the UN Secretary-General recently presented to the United Nations General Assembly highlights the potential of co-operatives to contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals and the means through which they advance the central pledge to leave no one behind. “Co-operative enterprises are in a unique position to help to promote the 2030 Agenda. They are natural vehicles to deliver the collaborative partnership and the people-centred and integrated approach required to attain the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” reads the report.
The contribution of co-operatives to addressing the developmental challenges of the least developed countries and opportunities for leveraging the resources of the co-operative enterprise model and of the international, regional and national co-operative organisations to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are explored in-depth. The report recognises that “co-operatives have a long-term perspective on investment in the community, which holds them accountable for the community assets and commits them to sustainability and social responsibility to safeguard the use thereof by the current and future generations.”
UN proposals for strengthening co-operatives and policy recommendations:
The report includes proposed strategies for strengthening co-operatives, given the key challenges that they face in their pursuit of sustainable development for all. These include:
- increasing the awareness of the role that co-operatives have in achieving the SDGs;
- generating consistent data on co-operatives to support evidence-based research, especially with regard to the SDGs;
- establishing effective policies, laws and regulations, and
- building the capacity of co-operatives to participate in sustainable development processes at the national, regional and international levels.
The report concludes with policy recommendations for the further advancement of co-operatives, including that “governments should review existing legislation and regulations to make the national legal and regulatory environment more conducive to the creation and growth of co-operatives, by improving existing laws and regulations and/or by establishing new ones, especially with regard to access to capital, competitiveness and fair taxation”. The full text of the report can be found online here
A partnership for strengthening #coops4dev
In March 2016, the International Co-operative Alliance entered into a partnership with the European Commission, ushering in a new phase of collaboration on strengthening the co-operative movement as development actors.
The ICA-EU partnership, also called #coops4dev, aims to bring the co-operative model to the next level within international development policies and programmes. It is built around activities focused on increasing visibility, enhancing advocacy, sharing capacity building, strengthening co-operative development networking, and supporting all these with evidence from exhaustive research.
Acting as partners, the regional and global offices of the ICA are driving the actions, in collaboration with members, civil society organisations, international institutions and the EU. The campaign Co-ops for 2030 has been created within the framework of this project to enable co-operatives to learn more about the SDGs, commit to pledges to contribute to achieving the SDGs, and report their progress.
Read more information about #coops4dev partnership here.