Cooperatives are an old idea but more relevant than ever as they can be the drivers of a sustainable future, senior United Nations officials said on the International Day of Cooperatives today, urging Governments to create an enabling environment for these groups to thrive and grow.
“Cooperatives play an important role in many societies,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message on the Day, which this year is observed under the theme, “Cooperatives: The power to act for a sustainable future.”
Citing UN estimates, he said one person in every six is either a member or a client of a cooperative and some 2.6 million cooperatives employ 12.6 million people worldwide. Cooperatives' assets are worth about $20 trillion and they generate about $3 trillion in annual revenue.
“We believe cooperatives can make significant contributions to the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] on employment, poverty, hunger, and equality,” the UN chief said.
Like the SDGs themselves, cooperatives are people-centred, as they are owned and run by their members, and are strongly committed to the communities they serve.
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