International Day of Cooperatives
International Day of Cooperatives (#CoopsDay) is celebrated annually on the first Saturday in July since 1923 and in 2021 it will fall on 3 July. The day aims to raise awareness for cooperatives and extend the partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other organizations.
According to the United Nations, today is about, “celebrating a future in which human development and social justice are prioritie. At a time when income inequality is rising around the world, it is good to be reminded that solutions to inequality do exist. The co-operative model is foremost among these solutions since it contains aspects of sustainable development at its core and is based on ethical values and principles.”
Last year’s theme was “Rebuild better together”. The commemoration of this day is intended to increase awareness and appreciate the role played by cooperatives in human development and social-economic transformation. Cooperatives play an active part in creating and maintaining employment worldwide and are significant economic factors in several national economies. Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.
Thanks to unique values, principles, and governance structures, cooperatives have sustainability and resilience at their core, with concern for the community as the seventh of their guiding principles. They have a unique contribution to make to delivering all the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and their associated targets.
Sustainable societies are ones that reflect the environmental, social, and economic limits to growth. By their very nature, cooperatives play a triple role:
As economic actors, they create opportunities for jobs, livelihoods, and income generation.
As people-centered enterprises with social goals, they contribute to social equity and justice.
As democratic institutions, they are controlled by their members, playing a leading role in society and local communities.
Cooperatives are vital for economic and social development around the world. Based on the principle of cooperation, the cooperatives help to create new ethics and values in economics. The earliest record of a co-operative comes from Scotland on March 14, 1761. In 1844 a group of 28 artisans working in the cotton mills in the north of England established the first modern co-operative business.
The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) was formed in 1895 and the first Saturday of July is observed as International Cooperative Day since 1923. The basis for the activities of cooperatives is mutual help, mutual responsibility, solidarity, justice, and equality.
The objective of the world International day of cooperatives is to attract public attention to cooperatives and aiding in the expansion of partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations and the cooperative movement.
Through #CoopsDay, local, national, and global policymakers, civil society organizations, and the public, in general, can learn how cooperatives contribute to a decent working environment.
How to celebrate International Day of Cooperatives
Cooperatives around the world celebrate the International Day of Cooperatives in many ways. Activities include messages from the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the UN translated into local languages for worldwide distribution; news articles and radio programs publicizing the awareness of the day; fairs, exhibits, contests, and campaigns focused on the topics related to the day; meetings with government officials, UN agencies and other partner organizations; economic, environmental, social and health challenges (such as tree planting); and sponsored cultural events such as theatres and concerts. Some of the ways you can celebrate the day are:
Communicate to policymakers in your city, country, or region how co-operatives are building a better world, and ask for their support.
Organize a celebration that showcases your co-operative’s contributions to inclusion.
Post videos and photos on social media and online that illustrate how your co-operative ensures no one in your community is left behind.
Suggested Read: Important Days In July