On December 16, 1992, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 47/90, proclaiming the first Saturday of the month of July to be the International Day of Cooperatives.
Two decades later, on June 26, 2012, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon issued a message in honour of the International Day of Cooperatives, which is being observed on July 7 this year, encouraging "all stakeholders to continue building awareness and pursuing policies to strengthen cooperatives everywhere." His message is inspired by this year's theme for the International Day of Cooperatives: "Cooperative enterprises build a better world."
To mark this very important milestone for the cooperative movement, the International Summit of Cooperatives is pleased to share the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message:
On this International Day of Cooperatives, we celebrate how cooperatives build a better world by advancing sustainable development, social integration and decent work.
Cooperatives empower their members and strengthen communities. They promote food security and enhance opportunities for small agricultural producers. They are better tuned to local needs and better positioned to serve as engines of local growth. By pooling resources, they improve access to information, finance and technology. And their underlying values of self-help, equality and solidarity offer a compass in challenging economic times.
Cooperatives are also critical in supporting indigenous communities, and in offering productive employment opportunities for women, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons and others who face discrimination and marginalization.
The global financial and economic crisis has also demonstrated the resilience of alternative financial institutions such as cooperative banks and credit unions.
In this International Year of Cooperatives, I encourage all stakeholders to continue building awareness and pursuing policies to strengthen cooperatives everywhere. By contributing to human dignity and global solidarity, cooperatives truly do build a better world.
You can also view the video version of the Secretary-General's message at: http://www.entreprises.coop/coop-fr/actualites/261-7-juillet-2012-journee-internationale-des-cooperatives.html
Sources: Coop FR website at http://www.entreprises.coop/ (in French only)
Message published by the Secretary-General of the United Nations at http://www.un.org/fr/events/cooperativesday/sgmessages.shtml (in French only)