ICA announces theme for 2025 International Year of Cooperatives

The theme will be ‘Cooperatives Build a Better World’

The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) has announced ‘Cooperatives Build a Better World’ as the theme for the 2025 UN International Year of Cooperatives (IYC2025), showcasing the enduring global impact of co-operatives.

This theme “puts a spotlight on how the co-operative model is an essential solution to overcome many global challenges,” says the ICA, “and continues to play an important role in accelerating efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030”.

The IYC2025 was officially confirmed on 19 June, when the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, presented by the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations, proclaiming 2025 as the International Year of Cooperatives. The UN session can be viewed here (from 02:22:31)

“Co-operatives are present in every aspect of our lives, and answering to each of the SDGs, everywhere,” said Ariel Guarco, ICA president. “This is the second time in history that the UN has dedicated an international year to co-operatives, and this is not a coincidence. Driven by concern for all communities, co-operatives have successfully adapted to overcome the evolving challenges of our time, and have shown repeatedly throughout history, that together we are indeed building a better world.”

The first International Year of Cooperatives was in 2012, honouring the contribution of co-ops to socio-economic development. The movement celebrated with a World Cooperative Congress in Manchester, UK.

Li Junhua, under-secretary-general of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said the second International Year of Cooperatives will be “an opportunity to mobilise all stakeholders to support and expand co-operatives everywhere, strengthening their contributions for a better world.”

He added: “The decision by the General Assembly could not be timelier. The innovative contributions of co-operatives for sustainable development will be crucial for accelerating progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as we approach 2030.”

A soft-launch of the IYC2025 will be held on 9 July 2024 during the UN High-Level Political Forum at the UN Headquarters in New York, co-hosted by the UN Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations. The launch will take place from 10am to 12pm EST (3-5pm BST) and be streamed online via UN Web TV.

The event will coincide with the 2024 UN International Day of Cooperatives (IDC), celebrated in 2024 under the theme Cooperatives Build a Better Future for All. 

The official launch of the IYC2025 will take place in New Delhi, India, during the ICA Global Cooperative Conference and General Assembly, scheduled for 25-30 November 2024 in the presence of global leaders seeking to inspire co-operators worldwide. This will be followed by a year-long celebration of co-operatives’ impact on society, “reflecting on achievements, and what actions come next to strengthen the co-operative movement and improve lives for everyone”. 

The International Cooperative Alliance plans to increase the visibility of co-operatives and raise public awareness about their contributions to sustainable development, and promote the growth and development of co-ops through capacity-building initiatives, knowledge-sharing, and collaborative partnerships.

The global apex also plans to advocate for enabling environments and supportive legal and policy frameworks for strengthening their entrepreneurial ecosystem, inspire young people to join the movement, and promote the impact co-operatives have on building a better world.

Registration for the ICA Global Cooperative Conference and General Assembly is now open here