In a high-level meeting with United Nations representatives a week ahead of the 2016 International Day of Cooperatives, Monique F. Leroux, president of the International Co-operative Alliance, pledged the cooperative movement’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As sustainable, people-focused businesses that foster decent work and inclusion, cooperative enterprises are poised to play an essential role in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In September 2015, world leaders approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during the United Nations General Assembly, outlining the 17 Goals, or development and policy priorities. Cooperatives are important partners to achieve the SDGs, fostering democracy, modeling leadership in social inclusion, operating with a concern for community and the environment all while significantly impacting the global economy.
Celebrated every year on the first Saturday in July, this year’s International Day of Cooperatives theme is “The Power to Act for a Sustainable Future.” Chosen to emphasize cooperatives’ contribution to the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the slogan highlights the unique position of co-ops as a tool for sustainability.
“I am honored to affirm today our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. Cooperatives are key partners for achieving the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, since our values and principles run parallel to the Sustainable Development Goals”, said Leroux.
On the 2016 International Day of Cooperatives, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) will launch the Co-ops for 2030 campaign, an online platform for co-operatives to learn about and pledge commitments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Co-ops for 2030 is part of a global campaign for cooperatives to unite and engage in the SDG implementation process and will be available at www.coopsfor2030.coop on the International Day of Co-operatives, celebrated July 2.
Sustainability is one of the five priorities of the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade, the global strategy for and by cooperatives to take cooperation to a new level by 2020. The 2016 International Summit of Cooperatives also has a rich program based on the theme “Co-operatives: The Power to Act.” It will dedicate a full day to the topic of achieving the SDGs while gathering cooperators, global agencies and world-renowned experts towards resolving these global issues.
“It is important for the Alliance to share its work with the United Nations as the cooperative movement contributes in a tangible way to the SDGs. The cooperative business model needs to be promoted and shared because cooperative enterprises foster democracy, social inclusion and operate with concern for the environment. Cooperatives are sustainable businesses that have the power to act at local, national and international levels,” Leroux said.
Cooperatives and development organizations—among them NCBA CLUSA—impact the SDGs in issues like food security, poverty eradication, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, and combating climate change. To learn more about how cooperatives impact the SDGs and how your specific co-op can be a part of this global movement, check out coopsday.coop.