International Day of Cooperatives 2024 and its Significance

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International Day of Cooperatives is observed on the first Saturday of July every year. It is a UN observance day. UN observance aims to educate the public on issues of concern, mobilize political will and resources to address global problems and celebrate and reinforce humanity’s achievements.

International Day of Cooperatives aims to demonstrate and celebrate the unique and important contribution of cooperatives to making the world a better place. This 2nd July, cooperatives all around the world will celebrate the 100th International Day of Cooperatives (#CoopsDay).

“Cooperatives are answering the wake-up call of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who warned that the world is ‘on the edge of an abyss — and moving in the wrong direction’, and exclaimed that ‘to restore trust, and inspire hope, we need cooperation, we need dialogue, we need understanding’. For nearly two centuries, cooperatives have been pulling in this direction. This was amply highlighted at the 33rd World Cooperative Congress, held by the International Cooperative Alliance in December 2021, which focused a spotlight on how their shared identity is moving cooperatives to take action to address the world’s problems” declared Bruno Roelants, Director General of the ICA.

Importance of International Day of Cooperatives

The International Day of Cooperatives, celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July, is more than just a date on the calendar; it’s a reflection of the cooperative movement’s enduring impact on society. This day is a global acknowledgment of cooperatives’ contribution to resolving major international issues and their role in promoting inclusivity, self-reliance, and sustainability.

Cooperatives are unique business entities that are owned and run by their members, who share the profits and benefits. The United Nations recognizes the importance of cooperatives in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as they help to move forward the UN 2030 Agenda by making SDGs a reality. The cooperative model is deeply embedded with values such as self-help, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity, which align with the UN’s vision for a sustainable future.

History of International Day of Cooperatives

The history of cooperatives dates back to the 18th century, but their relevance has only grown with time. Today, cooperatives are seen as a solution to economic disparities, a way to combat environmental degradation, and a means to create good jobs and secure food supplies. They are lauded for keeping financial capital within local communities and building ethical value chains.

On this International Day of Cooperatives, it’s essential to recognize that cooperatives represent at least 12% of humanity, with millions of cooperatives operating worldwide. They stand as a testament to the power of collective action and the human-centered approach to business. As we celebrate this day, let’s remember the cooperative spirit that fosters international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace.

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International Day of Cooperatives
International Day of Cooperatives

International Day of Cooperatives 2024: Theme

Each year, a theme is chosen to highlight a particular aspect of the cooperative movement. For instance, past themes have focused on women’s empowerment, climate action, and decent work. These themes not only celebrate the achievements of cooperatives but also set the agenda for future action and advocacy.

The theme for the International Day of Cooperatives in 2024 is “Cooperatives Build a Better Future for All.” This theme emphasizes the role of cooperatives in creating a sustainable future, accelerating efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. It aligns with the objectives of the upcoming UN Summit of the Future, which focuses on “Multilateral solutions for a better tomorrow.” Cooperatives, with their identity, values, and principles, provide a robust framework for achieving the SDGs.

Significance of International Day of Cooperatives

The significance of the International Day of Cooperatives lies in its focus on inclusivity and the empowerment of individuals as part of a larger collective. By promoting cooperative values and principles, the day serves as a reminder of the movement’s role in influencing global development agendas, particularly in promoting economic efficiency, equality, and world peace.

The cooperative movement has a rich history, with the earliest record of a cooperative dating back to Scotland in 1761. The modern cooperative movement began in 1844 with a group of 28 artisans in England, establishing a business model that has since spread globally. Today, cooperatives are recognized for their commitment to sustainable development, not only economically but also socially and environmentally, benefiting their communities and contributing to the global economy.

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How to Observe International Day of Cooperatives

Observing the International Day of Cooperatives can be a fulfilling and enlightening experience. It is a day to recognize and celebrate the contributions of cooperatives to social, economic, and cultural development worldwide. One can start by learning about the cooperative movement’s history and its impact on local and global scales. Engaging with local cooperatives through volunteering or participating in events and discussions can provide a hands-on understanding of their work.

Additionally, supporting cooperatives by shopping at local co-op stores or becoming a member can directly contribute to the cause. Educational seminars and workshops are often organized to spread awareness, so attending these can be highly beneficial. Lastly, advocating for cooperatives and their values on social media and within one’s community can help promote the cooperative model for sustainable development. This collective effort not only celebrates the spirit of cooperatives but also furthers their mission to create a more equitable and inclusive world.

International Day of Cooperatives Observation Dates

International Day of Cooperatives observed annually on July 1st, to highlights the cooperative model’s alignment with sustainable development goals and its role in wealth creation, poverty elimination, and community advancement.

Year Date Day
2019 1-Jul-19 Monday
2020 1-Jul-20 Wednesday
2021 1-Jul-21 Thursday
2022 1-Jul-22 Friday
2023 1-Jul-23 Saturday
2024 1-Jul-24 Monday
2025 1-Jul-25 Tuesday
2026 1-Jul-26 Wednesday
2027 1-Jul-27 Thursday
2028 1-Jul-28 Saturday
2029 1-Jul-29 Sunday