How co-operatives can influence the UN’s development goals on equality

The International Day of Co-operatives is a “global opportunity” to highlight the contribution of co-operatives in equality, according to a body that represents the sector. The Committee for...

The International Day of Co-operatives is a “global opportunity” to highlight the contribution of co-operatives in equality, according to a body that represents the sector.

The Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) – an alliance of bodies including the United Nations and the International Co-operative Alliance – said the day presents a “key high-level and global opportunity to showcase the contributions of co-operatives on this issue”.

Other members of the group, which decided on the theme for the day, include the Food and Agriculture Organization, International Labour Organization and the World Farmers Organization.

A statement from COPAC said: “2015 represents an important year for equality. In terms of gender equality and women’s empowerment, 2015 marks 20 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for gender equality and women’s empowerment. This year will also see the adoption of a Post-2015 Development Agenda by UN member states, in order to take up the work begun by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“The proposed agenda currently contains seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including specific goals to achieve gender equality and reduce inequality within and among countries.”

It said that the goals made progress, but inequalities persist: “While a small portion of the population enjoys prosperity, many continue to endure poverty, unequal access to education and employment opportunities, disease, conflict and harsh living conditions.”

The International Day is celebrated by the United Nations, and co-operatives around the world.

To help highlight the achievement of co-operatives, Copac, along with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), is hosting an event at the UN’s headquarters in New York on 8 July. During the ministerial segment of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the event will look at co-operative achievements in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda negotiations, with a particular focus on implementing the SDGs.

Invited guests will include UN Member State representatives, UN Secretariat Departments, Agencies, Funds and Programmes, development partners, civil society and cooperatives.

• For more information, visit: http://undesadspd.org/Cooperatives/InternationalDayofCooperatives/2015.aspx

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