In a meeting with representatives of the United Nations, Monique F. Leroux, president of the International Co-operative Alliance, has pledged the co-operative movement’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In September 2015, UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over 15 years.
The Agenda recognises co-operative enterprises as important players within the private sector to achieve these SDGs, and the Alliance believes that as sustainable, people-focused businesses, co-operatives have an essential role in implementing them.
“I am honoured to affirm our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Ms Leroux. “Co-operatives are key partners for achieving the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, since our values and principles run parallel to the SDGs.”
Sustainability is one of the five priorities of the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade, the global strategy for and by co-operatives to take co-operation to a new level by 2020.
“It is important for the Alliance to share its work with the United Nations as the co-operative movement contributes in a tangible way to the SDGs,” added Ms Leroux. “The co-operative business model needs to be promoted and shared because co-operative enterprises foster democracy, social inclusion and operate with concern for the environment.
“Co-operatives are sustainable businesses that have the power to act at local, national and international levels.”
The co-operative movement’s commitment was pledged at a high-level meeting in the presence of Mrs Daniela Bas, director for social policy and development (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs); H.E. Marc-Andre Blanchard, ambassador and permanent representative of Canada to the United Nations; and H.E. Sukhbold Sukhee, ambassador and permanent representative of Mongolia to the United Nations. Also present were Carla Mucavi, director of the FAO Liaison Office; and Vinicius Pinheiro, director and special representative of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to the UN.
Ms Leroux confirmed that the Alliance is working with the ILO and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to identify concrete targets and indicators for co-operatives to better evaluate their contribution to the SDGs. The subject will also be discussed in full at the 2016 International Summit of Cooperatives, which is based on the the theme “Co-operatives: The Power to Act”, and will dedicate a full day to the topic of achieving the SDGs.
Ms Leroux also announced the upcoming launch of Co-ops for 2030, an online platform for co-operatives to learn about and pledge commitments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The platform, www.coopsfor2030.coop, will be launched on 2 July – the 2016 International Day of Co-operatives.
In this article
- 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade
- Food and Agriculture Organization
- International Co-operative Alliance
- International Co-operative Day
- International Labour Organization
- International Summit of Cooperatives
- Marc-Andre Blanchard
- Monique F Leroux
- Sukhbold Sukhee
- Sustainable Development Goals
- The Alliance
- UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
- United Nationa
- United Nations
- North America
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