Harnessing the Power of Cooperatives to achieve Sustainable Development for All
In the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, Member States recognized the important role of cooperatives, stating that: “we acknowledge the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives in the implementation of the new Agenda.” The United Nations has also consistently called for the promotion and development of cooperatives as inclusive and socially responsible enterprises with a huge potential for growth.
In its resolution A/RES/72/143 titled Cooperatives in Social Development, adopted in December 2017, the General Assembly recognized that cooperatives, in their various forms, promote the fullest possible participation in the economic and social development of local communities and all people, including women, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples, and are becoming a significant factor of economic and social development and contribute to the eradication of poverty and hunger; and further recognized the important contribution and potential of all forms of cooperatives to the follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development.
The Expert Group Meeting (EGM) will be organized by the Division for Inclusive Social Development of the Department of Economic and Social Development; in Nairobi, Kenya, from 26 to 28 March 2019. The EGM will bring together a group of experts on cooperatives, with the view to review and reflect on experiences and lessons gained since the International Year of Cooperative (2012), analyse to what extent previous plans of action have achieved their desired impacts and make policy recommendations in the changing global contexts in particular the 2030 Agenda. The outcome of the EGM, will provide, among others, an expert analysis and policy recommendations that shall inform the preparation of the report of the Secretary-General on the issue concerning cooperatives in social development in 2019.
Specifically, the EGM will focus on the role of cooperatives in providing universal health care and eradicating rural poverty. It will re-establish the social and economic argument for cooperatives, particularly the role played by cooperatives to reduce poverty, employment creation, food security and nutrition, women’s empowerment, and promotion of social inclusion. The EGM will also deepen the understanding of the relationships between the cooperative enterprise model and the SDGs and delivering the outcomes of the world summit on social development.
The meeting will be a three-day event that will allow a robust exchange of national experiences and new ways of thinking that can contribute to achieving the development of the cooperative model of doing business.