The day has a special significance for many co-ops from all over the world as it also coincides with United Nations World Development Information Day.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “With the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals fast approaching, we must intensify our efforts to reach all of these lifesaving targets. We must prepare a bold and practical post-2015 development agenda.”
The Secretary General called for individual commitment and collective action through co-operative efforts. He said: “No single leader, country or institution can do everything. But each of us, in our own way, can do something.
“On this UN Day, let us reaffirm our individual commitment and our collective resolve to live up to the ideals of the United Nations Charter and build a better world for all.”
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of co-operatives to socio-economic development, particularly their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration.
With the theme of 'Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World', the International Year seeks to encourage the growth and establishment of co-operatives all over the world. Co-operatives play a central role in addressing the gap between North and South, securing food supplies and fighting poverty. They empower women and youth, promote equality, democracy and social inclusion.
The important role of co-operatives in food security has been recognised by the United Nations, with Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) dedicating this year’s World Food Day to agricultural co-operatives.
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. 24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. The Assembly decided that the date for the Day should coincide in principle with United Nations Day, 24 October, which was also the date of the adoption, in 1970, of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade.