Cooperatives year comes full circle

The International Year of Cooperatives celebrated under the theme “Cooperative enterprises build a better world” will culminate on 19-20 November with a closing ceremony featuring a short film festival

Over one billion people are members of cooperatives, a serious enterprise model that puts people at the heart of all business. Owned and controlled by the members they serve, they are great tools for empowering people. It is also estimated that cooperatives account for more than 100 million jobs around the world.

“Cooperatives empower their members and strengthen communities. They promote food security and enhance opportunities for small agricultural producers. They are better tuned to local needs and better positioned to serve as engines of local growth. By pooling resources, they improve access to information, finance and technology. And their underlying values of self-help, equality and solidarity offer a compass in challenging economic times,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this year when the International Day of Cooperatives was celebrated.

Intended to raise public awareness of how cooperatives contribute to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration, the International Year of Cooperatives was launched on 31 October 2011. The year also sought to promote growth and the creation of cooperatives worldwide and to encourage individuals, communities and governments to acknowledge the role cooperatives play in helping to achieve internationally agreed upon development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

As the year comes full circle, closing events will be held on 19-20 November featuring a short film festival on 20 November. Filmmakers from around the world have been invited to submit their contributions showcasing cooperatives and encouraging support and development of cooperative enterprises by individuals and their communities. The winners and the films selected will soon be revealed.

For more information:

International Year of Cooperatives 2012

International Year of Cooperatives Short Film Festival