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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

International Day of Cooperatives 2015, July 4th.


International Day of Cooperatives, 4 July.
Día Internacional de las Cooperativas, 4 de julio.


Тема 2015 года — «Выбираем кооперативы, выбираем равенство»
2015年主题:“选择合作,选择平等”
Theme for 2015: Choose co-operative, choose equality.
Lema de 2015: «Elija cooperativo - elija equidad»
Thème 2015 : « Optez pour les coopératives, optez pour l'égalité »
موضوع 2015: باختيارك التعاونيات تختار المساواة

Choose co-operative, choose equality.


The theme of this year’s observance of the International Day of Cooperatives -- “Choose cooperatives, choose equality” -- highlights the invaluable role of cooperatives in making the vision of a sustainable future a reality for everyone.
Inequality is a fundamental obstacle to development, depriving people of basic services and opportunities to build better lives for themselves and their children, The cooperative model helps meet this challenge. Cooperatives strive to uphold the principles of equality and democratic participation. They are strongly committed to the communities they serve. This business model, built on inclusion and sustainability, offers a pathway toward economic, social and political justice for all.
Research has shown that cooperatives help to lower wage differences between men and women, and to promote greater equality in work and training opportunities. With an estimated one in every six people in the world either a member or client of a cooperative, and some 2.6 million cooperatives employing 12.6 million people, the potential contribution to sustainable development is enormous.
In this crucially important year in which the world will commit itself to an inspiring new development agenda, including a set of sustainable development goals, let us recommit to the cooperative business model and use its many benefits to fulfil our vision of a life of dignity for all.
Ban Ki-moon



Message by ILO Director-General Guy Ryder for the International Day of Cooperatives 2015.
“Choose cooperatives, choose equality" - International Labour Organization (ILO).

I am pleased to join the international community in celebrating the International Day of Cooperatives which this year focuses on the theme "Choose cooperatives, choose equality".
As people-centered, principle driven, member owned businesses cooperatives have a long tradition of promoting equality. Their values of “equality and equity” are translated into members’ equal voting rights and access to the products and services of the cooperative, as well as to an equitable distribution of surpluses. In addition to creating a viable enterprise model that generates productivity and income, cooperatives are well placed to help tackle social inequalities, discrimination and exclusion based on gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and differential abilities.
Not surprisingly, cooperatives have also proved to be effective vehicles for realizing decent work for all. This role of cooperatives has long been recognized in the almost100 years of ILO history. It is reflected in Recommendation No 193 of 2002 on the promotion of cooperatives. The Recommendation on the transition from the informal to the formal economy adopted by the ILO’s International Labour Conference in June 2015 calls on member States to promote cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy units in integrated policy frameworks to facilitate this transition.
In the rural and informal economies we have seen first-hand how women, youth and indigenous peoples are increasing their income and their standard of living by using the cooperative way of working: from a California-based initiative in which marginalized women workers run worker-owned green businesses, to a furniture making cooperative that employs people with disabilities in the Philippines to a Tanzanian cooperative that supports educational expenses of orphans and vulnerable children with significant revenues generated from the sales of their products.
Worker cooperatives and multi-stakeholder cooperatives are rapidly increasing and have provided the means for workers in companies that are going bankrupt, unemployed youth, and laid off public workers to enjoy the prospect of a better future.
In low income communities, cooperatives of housing, tourism and renewable energy can help to achieve an equitable distribution of economic returns. The ILO is examining how cooperative arrangements for the provision of care services can improve the well-being of care workers, care beneficiaries and the community at large. And, as the world of work evolves, the cooperative model can be used to bring technological, social and organizational innovation through pooling of people, knowledge, technology and resources helping to bridge the gaps that perpetuate economic and social inequality.
The ILO looks forward to working more closely with cooperative enterprises to promote cooperative ideals and to expand access to opportunities for decent work, an objective reflected in the renewed partnership agreement signed on 30 June 2015 by the ILO and the ICA and by joint work such as a recent ILO/ICA survey on cooperatives and gender equality .
As the international community moves toward the adoption of the post 2015 global development framework, let us ensure that cooperatives find their place in effective strategies to promote social justice and decent work for all.
Guy Rider, International Labour Organization.




Statement of the International Co-operative Alliance for the 93rd International Co-operative Day and the 21st UN Day of Cooperatives (4 july 2015), Choose co-operative, choose equality.



Equality is a fundamental value that ensures that all people can reap the benefits of economic and social development. Yet, we live in a world that remains rife with inequalities: according to recent data 0.7% of the world population holds 44% of all the wealth, while 70% only holds 3%. Everywhere there are still people discriminated against based on their gender, age, religion, or socio-economic condition among other factors.
Equality has been, since the beginning, a core value of the co-operative movement. By building co-operatives, people all over the world have chosen a democratic model of business that fosters equality.
As early as 1846 Eliza Brierley became the first woman to join, as a member, The Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society at a time when women did not normally own property. But the Rochdale Pioneers rules of 1844 saw no difference between male and female members, setting a standard that was later adopted by co-operatives across the world.

Today, there are more than 2.4 million co-operatives with over 1 billion members – three times more than direct shareholders of investor-owned companies. Furthermore, 250 million people are employed by or organise their livelihood through these co-operatives. The largest 300 co-operatives have combined annual revenues of USD 2.2 trillion – the equivalent of the GDP of the 7th largest economy in the world – and the movement is growing fast, particularly in emerging nations such as Brazil, India and China.

In a co-operative, equality means three things:
1. Membership is open and voluntary – without discrimination on any grounds – and each member has one vote, guaranteeing that the structure and control of the co-operative is equal. Unlike investor-owned companies, in a co-operative equality is a benefit of membership and is not linked to the financial capacity of the individual.
2. A co-operative works to satisfy the needs and aspirations of its members and for the sustainable development of society at large. The role of co-operatives in lifting millions of people out of poverty is undeniable – co-operatives distribute the wealth they create in a fairer and more equal way. As just one example, a co-operative project in Senegal has improved food security for 1 million individuals across 60 rural communities, improving household income by 250% and reducing the instances of underweight children by 35%.
3. While performing their activities, co-operatives offer all individuals – producers, workers, consumers – the opportunity to: pursue their economic needs and aspirations; become better integrated into society; and have access to goods, services and benefits that they would not otherwise have. This culture of equality also allows co-operatives to reflect the diversity of the people they serve.

Whether by developing gender equality; giving opportunities to young people; integrating minorities in the labour market; helping the transition from informal to formal economies; reducing the wage gap; giving economic power to the poor; allowing equal access to fundamental resources like water, energy, education, financial services, and many others, co-operative enterprises demonstrate on a daily basis that there is a choice that can shift the paradigm and can mainstream equality in economic and social development.

Across all sectors of the economy there are examples of co-operatives that make equality possible: credit unions that share their financial benefits directly with their members through higher returns on savings, lower rates on loans, and fewer, lower fees; health co-operatives that provide affordable and accessible health plans to marginalised populations; electrical co-operatives that serve rural areas, ensuring basic access to energy in places where others would not consider service provision and business development; retail consumer-owned co-operatives providing access to affordable, high-quality, and sustainable food such as organic or Fair Trade products; co-operative and mutual insurers that help disadvantaged populations protect themselves against basic risks thus allowing them to perform their activities in a safer, more confident way.

In a context where global challenges such as climate change and food security will increase inequality because they will disproportionally affect the ones that are already in dire situations, the world needs more equality, not less. By diversifying the global economy through the promotion and development of co-operatives, people, governments and society can help change this.
As businesses based on the principle of equality, we call on governments to promote national action and innovation to redress inequalities and we call on the United Nations and the international community to build equality into the heart of its on-going work to set a Post-2015 Development agenda, including a framework to address the challenges and risks of climate change, that takes into account the role and contribution of co-operative enterprises.

The International Co-operative Alliance calls on the co-operative movement to take this opportunity to showcase and promote the different ways co-operative enterprises advance equality

 
Statement 4 July 2015
The International Co-operative Alliance
  « Choose co-operative, choose equality »




FORUM : International Day of Cooperatives - July 5

The aim of this International Day is to:
  • Increase awareness on cooperatives;
  • Highlight the complementarily of the goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international cooperative movement;
  • Underscore the contribution of the movement to the resolution of the major problems addressed by the United Nations;
  • Strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors, including governments, at local, national and international levels.


This year, International Co-operative Day, to be celebrated on 4 July, will have the theme of “Choose co-operative, choose equality”.
The co-operative movement presents a unique combination of global reach and needs-based business conduct. Play an important role in poverty reduction by widening ownership and by giving people a voice, both inside their organizations and in society as a whole.



 
We put more time in choosing our shampoo than our economy. Going co-operative is making a choice, and one that creates a more equal world! 'Choose co-operative, choose equality' is the theme of the 2015 International Day of Co-operatives! Find all the info on www.coopsday.coop!


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