THE theme for this year's International Co-operative Day on July 3rd will be, Co-operatives for Fair Globalisation.
The Committee for the Advancement and Promotion of Co-operatives (COPAC) Board, which includes representatives from the International Co-operative Alliance and the United Nations, agreed the theme at a meeting in Washington.
It will be the 82nd ICA International Co-operative Day and the tenth International Day of Co-operatives celebrated by the UN.
This year's theme is linked to the recent report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation and its reference to the role co-ops can play in shaping the evolution of globalisation.
Co-ops can help change the current path of globalisation to one that puts people first; one which respects their rights, cultural identity and autonomy, and the empowerment of the communities in which they live.
The Commission made specific reference to the role of co-ops in its contribution to making fair globalisation a reality. It said co-ops can strengthen economic capabilities through partnerships between governments, business, trade unions and community organisations.
The relationship with these are "an effective means to develop the skills, infrastructure, technological and managerial capabilities, and frameworks that provide an enabling environment for private investment in the most dynamic productive activities".
It added this is not about "picking winners", but establishing the preconditions for the growth of globally competitive enterprises.
COPAC members noted co-operatives can also strengthen dialogue and governance. "The potential for a more participatory and democratic system of global governance lies today more in the future evolution of expanding networks of people and institutions, rather than in blueprints for world government or institutional re-engineering," said the Commission.
The commission also said voluntary initiatives such as Corporate Social Responsibility can help build public trust in enterprises and contribute to business sustainability.
COPAC concluded: "Co-operatives can help make globalisation a positive force for all peoples in all countries."