I am pleased to convey my best wishes on the successful conclusion of the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives.
As the Year draws to a close, we celebrate the achievements of the cooperative movement and its contributions to sustainable livelihoods and social protection.
As s strong partner in development, the cooperative movement works with the United Nations every day to empower people, enhance human dignity and help achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
We know there continues to be a hunger for policies and approaches that address social and economic goals that go beyond a one-dimensional bottom line. By emphasizing core values, cooperatives help advance a vision that embraces social objectives into the business model.
I am also pleased to note the strong participation of young people at these proceedings. Cooperatives offer a model that not only mobilize young people in their own productive enterprises, but facilitates their broader engagement with their communities. We look to your insights on how cooperatives can more effectively engage and interact with youth. You can help ensure that cooperative values and practices will continue to be empowering factors in the lives of young people around the world.
Once again, I am proud to extend my gratitude and good wishes. I look forward to our ongoing work to build a better world.