United Nations Launch of IYC 2012

New York, October 31, 2011 -- Today is a historic day in the history of the United Nations and the global co-operative movement, as the UN General Assembly...

New York, October 31, 2011 Today is a historic day in the history of the United Nations and the global co-operative movement, as the UN General Assembly officially launches the 2012 International Year of Co-operatives.

In December 2009, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives, in recognition of the contribution co-operatives make to the social and economic development of communities around the world. The theme of the International Year is Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World.

“The International Year of Co-operatives is testament to the success of the co-operative business model in building communities, revitalizing economies and creating jobs around the world,” said Claude Gauthier, president of the Canadian Co-operative Association. “For Canadian co-operators, it is an important opportunity to educate the public – and our own co-op members — about the enormous role co-operatives have played, and continue to play, in building our own country. Today marks the beginning of a very exciting year.”

“As financial co-operatives and proud supporters of the global movement, Canadian credit unions are pleased to be part of the 2012 International Year of Co-operatives,” said David Phillips, president and CEO, Credit Union Central of Canada. “Credit unions across Canada are gearing up to celebrate 2012 with events across the country and by joining forces with other co-operative organizations in their communities.”

“During this special UN Year the world will acknowledge and enhance the transformative role co-operatives have played in building communities, as they build prosperity,” said Kathryn White, executive director of the United Nations Association in Canada. “For some 100 years, co-operatives in Canada have been a unique training ground for building community capacity, trust and social cohesion, all while giving hundreds of thousands of citizens a hands-on experience of democracy in action.”

The UN has organized a special program of activities which will take place today, Monday, October 31, at the UN headquarters in New York City. These include:

10 a.m.

Roundtable discussion on “Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World: Contributions to Sustainable Development”.

2 p.m.

Media conference

3 p.m.

Address to the General Assembly by Dame Pauline Green, president of the International Co-operative Alliance.

6:30 p.m.

International Co-operative Alliance leadership reception

Canadians who will be participating in the New York events include Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators; Monique F. Leroux, chair of the board, president and CEO of Desjardins Group; Jack Wilkinson, former president of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture; Jo-Anne Ferguson, senior director, International Development, Canadian Co-operative Association; Réjean Lantagne, executive director, SOCODEVI and Anne Gaboury, president and CEO of Développement international Desjardins.

Dame Pauline Green, who is addressing the UN General Assembly on behalf of the global co-operative movement, will be visiting Canada following the events in New York. She will be in Ottawa on Wednesday, November 2 and will be available for interviews.

The International Co-operative Alliance is planning its own launch of the International Year of Co-operatives at its General Assembly in Cancun, Mexico on November 18. Canadian launch events will be held across the country on January 12.

In October 2012, the International Co-operative Alliance, Desjardins Group and Saint Mary’s University will be hosting a major International Year of Co-operatives event, the 2012 International Summit of Cooperatives in Quebec City.

“The International Year of Co-operatives is a unique opportunity to showcase the social and economic contribution of the co-operative model,” Mrs. Leroux said. “The 2012 International Summit of Cooperatives will bring together decision-makers and influencers from the international co-operative community in Quebec City. It will be a milestone event and an opportunity to establish and strengthen the influence of the co-operative movement on the socio-economic and political stage.”

In this article

Join the Conversation