Co-operative movement sustainable development goals efforts presented at the UN General Assembly

27 Sep 2017

On 19 September, on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, the French government on behalf of the Leading Group on Social and Solidarity Economy, organised an event on the topic of “Inclusive, participatory, innovative: financing for Social and Solidarity Economy at the core of the Sustainable Development Goals”. Charles Gould, director general of the International Co-operative Alliance was present and had the opportunity to convey the work done by the Alliance and its members on the issue.

In his presentation, Mr Gould stated the importance of the co-operative movement worldwide and argued that co-operatives, given their specific nature of people-oriented and values-driven enterprises, are well suited organisations for the implementation of sustainable development initiatives. He informed the audience about the Alliance’s online platform “Co-ops for 2030” (, a tool for members and other stakeholders to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals, share experiences and pledge to implement them. The platform, launched in June 2016, already gathers more than 280 pledges from co-operatives in all regions of the world.

The event was chaired by Brune Poirson, French minister of for Ecological and Inclusive Transition. It focused on financing for social and solidarity economy as levers to finance the Sustainable Development Goals and concluded with the adoption of a related position paper, available here

The event demonstrated the ability of social and solidarity economy (SSE) organisations to operate at different scales, emphasising the need for adapted ecosystems. SSE movements associated with public and local funding and citizen initiatives and local savings mechanisms are part of this dynamic. They have the capacity to mobilise citizens and financing for ecologically and socially responsible projects anchored in the territories.

Photo: Charles Gould speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City