This document has been made available in electronic format
          by the Committee for the Promotion and 
               Advancement of Cooperatives

Intergovernmental Meeting of Experts on South-South Cooperation
                 31 July - 4 August 1995

                  SOUTH - SOUTH COOPERATION
                   OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR

    Background paper prepared by the United Nations Department 
       for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development
                     New York, July 1995


In its resolution 49/155, adopted on 23 December 1995 and the
latest in a series of resolutions on the topic of cooperative
business enterprises beginning in the 1950s, the General Assembly
recognized that "cooperatives in their various forms are becoming
an indispensable factor in the economic and social development
of all countries.  It encouraged Governments to consider fully
the potential of cooperatives for contributing to the solution
of economic, social and environmental problems in formulating
national development strategies.  It requested the Secretary-
General to continue to provide support to the programmes and
objectives of the international cooperative movement.

Within the United Nations itself a number of entities have
continuing or ad hoc programmes designed to promote, support or
collaborate with the cooperatively organized segment of the
private business sector.  A number of the specialized agencies,
notably the ILO and FAO have similar and even longer established

The Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable
Development includes a focal point for cooperatives, one of whose
functions is to bring to the attention of relevant parts of the
United Nations system and to intergovernmental bodies wherever
appropriate, the relevance of the operations of cooperative
business enterprises to their areas of responsibility.  It is as
part of this function that the present background paper has been