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Co-ops celebrate International Day of Co-operatives with stories of co-operation

04 Jul 2017

On 1 July co-operatives from across the world marked the International Day of Co-operatives by showing how they were ensuring no one was left behind. Celebrated every year on the first Saturday of July, the day aims to increase awareness of the co-operative model and celebrate stories of success.

The International Co-operative Alliance has released a statement and a video from its president, and launched the report Co-ops for 2030: A movement achieving sustainable development for all.

To highlight the contribution of co-ops, the ILO’s Cooperatives Unit organised an event on 3 July. The meeting reflected on the use of co-operatives and other social and solidarity economy (SSE) enterprises and organisations among workers in the informal economy, particularly waste pickers and home workers. The event featured a presentation by Sonia Maria Dias, a WIEGO specialist and researcher, on her work with waste picker organizations in Brazil. The ILO has also prepared a slideshow and the ILO Director-General has published a statement.

The Committee on the Promotion and Advancement of Co-operatives (COPAC) also released a video focused on how co-operatives eradicated poverty and promoted prosperity in an inclusive way.

Cooperatives Europe, the Alliance’s regional organisation for European co-ops, took to the streets of Brussels to find out if and what do people of the EU quarter know about co-operatives! Cooperatives Europe’s video features members of the general public as well as MEPs Maria João Rodrigues & Isabella Adinolfi.

EU Agriculture and Rural Development commissioner, Phil Hogan also showed his support for co-operatives on the occasion of the International Day of Co-operatives. He said: “Agri-co-operatives matter because they are the glue that binds farmers together, helping to improve their production and bargaining power.”

In India the national co-operative union, NCUI, hosted a debate on the topic “no one is left behind”. Other events took place in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

In the USA the National Co-operative Business Association (NCBA) marked the day by rounding up some of its stories on how co-ops from across the world were working together to access markets, address nutrition of keep communities together. The NCBA featured successful stories from the USA, El Salvador, Guatemala, Senegal, Niger or Indonesia.

The United Nations will also observe the International Day of Co-operatives on 14 July at a side event to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The day will feature speeches from high-level UN officials and representatives from the co-operative world showing how the sector is eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity.