In a week of action in the run up to the G20 Summit, development NGOs, trade unions, faith groups, anti-poverty campaigners and international social movements are uniting to make their voices heard.
Pauline Green, Chief Executive of Co-operatives UK, said: “Co-operatives are founded on values of equality and solidarity and they believe in social responsibility, caring for others and protecting the environment.
“The G20 Summit in London is a terrific opportunity to get our message across that more should be done to end global inequality, provide fair employment opportunities for all and help protect the planet.
“The experience of the world economy over the last few months has highlighted the inadequacies of the financial and economic system and lessons need to be learned. Co-operative businesses, like all businesses, are being affected by the economic downturn and more co-ordinated action needs to be taken by governments.
“This is the best opportunity for a generation to learn from the mistakes of the past and to create a more inclusive global system that offers fairness and opportunity for all. This isn’t the time for retrenchment and protectionism, but for reaching out to create a new global system which rewards self-help and recognises the importance of community.”
Added Dame Pauline: “Co-operation as a business model is recognised the world over as a sustainable and people-centred way of doing business that understands the importance of ‘fair globalisation’.
“It provides a means of helping developing countries maximise their potential and thus helping their people live better lives.”
Co-operatives UK is also supporting calls for change from the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), whose members represent over 800 million individuals in co-operatives around the world. The ICA has issued an Open Letter to the governments of the G20.
Iain Macdonald, ICA Director General, said: “The ICA is particularly concerned that the G20 examines every option in seeking to overcome the current financial crisis.
“We are asking the G20 governments to give serious consideration to the advantages of the co-operative model of business. With over 150 years of commercial success in all economic fields, it is our conviction that co-operative enterprise, with its unique set of values and principles, can provide possible solutions particularly in promoting stability in the global economy.”