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.
The International Day of Cooperatives is an annual celebration of the cooperative movement that takes place on the first Saturday of July since 1923. Since 1995, the United Nations and the International Cooperative Alliance have been setting the theme for the celebration of #CoopsDay through the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC), a multi-stakeholder partnership of global public and private institutions that champions and supports people-centred and self-sustaining cooperative enterprises as leaders in sustainable development. The International Cooperative Alliance is a founding member.The aim of this celebration is to increase awareness of cooperatives. The event underscores the contributions of the cooperative movement to resolving the major problems addressed by the United Nations and to strengthening and extending the partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors.
2019 theme: COOPS 4 DECENT WORK
On 6 July 2019, join us as we celebrate a future in which human development and social justice are priorities. 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. Cooperative employment is far from a marginal phenomenon.According to a recent estimate, cooperatives around the world employ or are the main source of income for more than 279 million people—almost 10% of humanity’s total working population. Beyond these numbers, different studies have confirmed that, by comparison with employment in other sectors, cooperative jobs:
- tend to be more sustainable over time;
- show a smaller gap in earnings between higher and lower-paid positions;
- are more evenly distributed between rural and urban areas.
Why Do We Mark International Days?
International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. More information available here.