What is the UN International Day of Co-operatives

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      by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA


      What is the UN International Day of Cooperatives?


The United Nations has recognized and reaffirmed that co-
operatives have an important role to play in economic, social and
cultural development particularly by providing a suitable
framework for facilitating the mobilization of human, financial
and other resources.  This recognition and reaffirmation is
manifested by the numerous resolutions specific to co-operatives
and the bi-annual publication of the Secretary-General's report
on co-operatives.

In 1992, following a concerted lobbying effort by the co-
operative movements in membership of the International Co-
operative Alliance (ICA) and members of the Committee for the
Promotion and Advancment of Co-operatives (COPAC), the United
Nations General Assembly proclaimed the International Day of
Cooperatives by the UN by resolution 47/90 of 16 December 1992. 

The resolution states:

     "... The General Assembly, 

     Proclaims the first Saturday of July 1995 to be the
     International Day of Cooperatives, marking the centenary 
     of the establishment of the International Co-operative
     Alliance, and decides to consider the possibility of
     observing an International Day of Cooperatives in future

The date of the celebration of the International Day was chosen
to coincide with the already existing International Co-operative
Alliance (ICA) International Co-operative Day with has been
celebrated since 1927.

In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly adopted another
resolution on co-operatives which not only called on governments
and international agencies to "consider fully the potential of
cooperatives for contributing to the solution of economic, social
and environmental problems in formulating national development
strategies; and consider reviewing legal and administrative
constraints on the activities of cooperatives with a view to
eliminating those constraints that are not applied to other
businesses and enterprises", but also invited "...governments,
relevant international organizations, specialized agencies and
national and international cooperative organizations to observe
annually the International Day of Cooperatives on the first
Saturday of July starting from 1995, as proclaimed by the General
Assembly in its resolution 47/90".

Basic Objective 

The aim of the International Day of Cooperatives is to increase
awareness on co-operatives, highlight the complementarity of the
goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international
co-operative movement and, underscore the contribution of the
movement to the resolution of the major problems addressed by the
United Nations.  The International Day also aims to to strengthen
and extend partnerships between the international co-operative
movement and other actors, including governments, at local,
national and international levels.

                                                  December 1995