International Day of Cooperatives 2013

International Day of Cooperatives 2013The International Day of Cooperatives is an opportunity to place the spotlight broadly on the role of cooperatives in the social development process. Specifically, this year, the focus of the International Day will be on the role of cooperatives in building resilient societies in times of economic, social, and environmental crisis.

Cooperatives are making a difference in times of financial, food, and environmental crisis confronting societies around the world. Financial cooperatives have demonstrated their strength in a time when many financial institutions are failing. In addition, agricultural cooperatives have demonstrated their importance to achieving food security.   Furthermore, cooperatives have been recognized by Rio+20 for their role in sustainable development in the context of environmental crisis. Cooperatives have also shown their relevance in disaster situations.

While cooperatives can exist in all social strata, these core values can make cooperatives ideal for providing goods and services to the poor, excluded and marginalized sectors of society. In short, they are major resources for empowerment and participation of people in their own development and that of their society. In so doing, cooperatives help individuals, families and communities build resilience, especially in times of crisis.

UNDESA-DSPD will organize a panel discussion on “Cooperative enterprises remain strong in times of crisis”, Monday 8 July 2013 from 1.15pm to 2.30pm in conference room 7, UN North Lawn Building (NLB). The panel will address the following questions:

  • What is the potential of cooperatives for contributing to building resilient societies in times of crisis?
  • What are the actual contributions of cooperatives to empower people?
  • How do cooperatives contribute to building inclusive societies in times of crisis?
  • What is the importance of creating an International Plan of Action on Cooperatives?

Draft Agenda
Draft Concept Note

Message of the United Nations Secretary-General (English)
Message of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (English – pdf)
Message from the International Co-operative Alliance ICA (English – pdf)


Mr. Javier Molina, FAO Liaison Office in New-York
The Amazing Power of Cooperatives: UNFCU A Case Study by Ms. Elisabeth Philippe, Corporate Communications Manager, United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU)

Message from Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO)