2018 International Day of Co-operatives
The theme for the 2018 International Day of Co-operatives is "sustainable consumption and production of goods and services". It gives an opportunity for co-operatives, and mainly consumer co-operatives to show how they run successful businesses while adhering to environmental, sustainable, and ethical standards.
The theme was unveiled in the presence of the President of the International Co-operative Alliance, Ariel Guarco, at the event “Co-operatives: Developing people-focused strategies to end poverty”. This was organized by the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Co-operatives (COPAC) in the framework of the 56th session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD56) in New York.
The online platform Coops for 2030 showcases examples of pledges of co-operatives around the world in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There have been 300 pledges from 100 co-operatives in 40 countries so far. Due to their democratically governed and sustainable business model, placing people in the centre of decision-making,
co-operatives effectively fight poverty and hunger and are better placed to contribute to the realization of the 17 SDGs, amongst which SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.
This year, the International Day of Co-operatives will be celebrated on the 7th of July 2018.
Co-operators from around the world are invited to participate in selecting the #CoopsDay slogan. Until noon on the 8th of February (UTC−5), Twitter users can vote for one of three potential slogans:
- Sustainable societies through co-operation
- Choose a co-op: for a greener planet, for a common future, for a better world
- Choose co-op: Together for the planet
Want to help pick the #CoopsDay slogan? Cast your vote here
Why this theme?
The 2018 International Day of Co-operatives theme is aligned with that of the 2018 High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF): "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies". During the HLPF in July, UN Member States will review progress towards achieving the following Sustainable Development Goals:
- SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
- SDG 7 - Clean and Affordable Energy
- SDG11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
- SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
- SDG 15 - Life on Land.
Co-operatives have two centuries’ experience building sustainable and resilient societies. Among the examples, consumer co-operatives support sustainable sourcing for their products and educate consumers about responsible consumption. Agricultural co-operatives work to maintain the longevity of the land where they grow crops through sustainable farming practices. Housing co-operatives help ensure safe dwellings. Co-operative banks contribute to stability thanks to their proximity to their clients and provide access to finance at local level and are widespread even in remote areas. Utility co-operatives are engaged in the transition to cleaner electricity and rural access to energy and water. Worker and social co-operatives are active in diverse sectors (health, communications, tourism) to provide goods and services in an efficient, planet-friendly way, while creating long-term, sustainable jobs.
Through #CoopsDay, local and global policymakers can learn how co-operatives contribute to more sustainable and resilient societies and work towards including co-operatives in policy processes related to sustainability issues.
About the International Day of Co-operatives
Since 1995, the United Nations International Day of Co-operatives is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July.
The aim of this celebration is to increase awareness on co-operatives, highlight the complementary goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international co-operative movement, underscore the contributions of the movement to the resolution of the major problems addressed by the United Nations and strengthen and extend partnerships between the international co-operative movement and other actors.
In 1992, following a concerted lobbying effort by the co-operative members of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) and COPAC members, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the first Saturday of July 1995 to be International Day of
Co-operatives, marking the centenary of the establishment of the Alliance, by resolution 47/90 of 16 December 1992.
Indeed, since 1995, the Alliance and the United Nations have been setting the theme for the celebration of the International Day through COPAC, a multi-stakeholder partnership of global public and private institutions, of which the Alliance is a founding member, that champions and supports people-centred and self-sustaining co-operative enterprises as leaders in sustainable development.