Mexico President Felipe Calderón has pledged his country's support to the co-operative business model and to celebrate the International Year of Co-operatives. At the International Co-operative Alliance's Cancun General Assembly, the Mexican President said: "We share the values of co-operativism. Mutual help, fair employment, corporate social responsibility, sustainable human development, the participation of citizens and democracy." Mr Calderón, who was elected to office in 2006, said "Mexico celebrates that the United Nations has declared 2012 the Year of Co-operatives. We will join the effort and see how we can raise the awareness among Mexicans. "Mexico and my government is committed to promote the success of the International Year of Co-operatives." He also told delegates that Mexico will actively participate in the International Year: "We will participate, not only with celebrations, which we will hold. But also with actions, positive actions and constructive actions." Mr Calderón outlined his experience of the co-operative movement, and that he recognises the principles and ideas that it promotes. "I've had an opportunity to see as a President and previously a citizen, the social economic contribution of co-operatives in Mexico. I've seen the effects on families of all types, in agriculture, forestry, crafts, tourism, cattle raising, and of course credit unions, savings loans and many others." He added: "I know about the value, the economic results and also the human value and social value of a co-operative. I see how co-operatives bring together the most human part of the social side and the most human part of economic side. The co-operative movement is so important in that it expresses social humanism in which I believe. "You have contributed to develop the capacities of the less unfortunate ones. Help strengthen the social fabric that needs our society that has been damaged by the challenges that we have before us. Thanks to the co-operative movement, millions of human beings have been able to overcome poverty and discrimination." Mr Calderón talked about a vision where co-operatives can help build Mexico. He said: "I think what we are lacking is to broaden opportunities for well-being and to increase material limits and to reach people. It is a great opportunity to do this through the co-operative movement." In Mexico, credit unions and savings co-operatives did not have the support they needed according to the President. He said the country has given support over the past few years to help consolidate co-operatives, by giving support through information systems, development and general services. Now these savings co-operatives stand at 2,300 branches across the country — the largest banking network in the country. Mr Calderón closed by saying co-operatives can help with the current global economic battle: "We need people to have jobs, we don't want to stop putting up a fight so that people and families can have income. The international financial crisis has hit us hard. "We recognise the value of contribution of co-operatives to the progress of people. You are a source of inspiration to build a country to be a leader in economic development."