15 November 2023
Source: International Cooperative Alliance (ICA)
The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a new resolution on cooperatives in social development calling for the proclamation of 2025 as an International Year of Cooperatives.
The text encourages all member states, as well as the United Nations and all other relevant stakeholders, to take advantage of the International Year of Cooperatives as a way of promoting cooperatives and raising awareness of their contribution to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and to overall social and economic development. The resolution was presented by the Government of Mongolian and adopted on 3 November during the 47th plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
The initiative comes after the success of the first International Year of Cooperatives in 2012, which highly contributed to raise awareness of the important role of cooperatives in promoting sustainable development.
The resolution further draws governments’ attention to the recommendations of the 2023 UN Secretary General report on cooperatives in social development, to focus support on cooperatives as sustainable and successful business enterprises by strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem for cooperatives enabling them to further contribute directly to:
- decent employment generation,
- poverty and hunger eradication,
- social protection – including universal health coverage -,
- financial inclusion and
- the creation of affordable housing options across a variety of economic sectors in urban and rural areas.
The text also recommends reviewing existing legislation and regulations to make the national legal and regulatory environment more conducive to the creation and growth of cooperatives by improving existing laws and regulations and/or by establishing new ones, especially in the areas of access to capital, autonomy, competitiveness and fair taxation.
In addition, the resolution calls member states to consult cooperatives in the preparations for the voluntary national reviews for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. It also invites governments, relevant international organisations, the specialised agencies and local, national and international cooperative organisations to continue to observe the International Day of Cooperatives annually, on the first Saturday of July, as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in its resolution 47/90.
The ICA celebrates the adoption of this resolution, welcomes its recommendations, and encourages all stakeholders involved in the promotion and advancement of cooperatives to implement them.
The President of ICA, Ariel Guarco, welcomes the adoption of a new UN resolution on cooperatives and adds “the proclamation of a new International Year of Cooperatives 13 years after the first one proves the strong recognition by the UN and national governments of the capacity of cooperatives to push forward the Agenda 2030 and build a fairer and more prosperous world for everyone.”
The 2025 International Year of Cooperatives will coincide with the 130th anniversary of the ICA, which was founded in 1895.
The recommendations in this new UN resolution are well aligned with ICA’s requests to the governments and development partners as stated in its recent position paper ICA policy paper “Cooperatives: Key partners in realising the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development”.
The final version of this resolution is expected to be published in December as adopted by the UN General Assembly on 3 November.