UN General Assembly adopts resolution on cooperatives as a pillar of the Social and Solidarity Economy


Teresa Ribera RodrĂ­guez, Vice President of Spain and Minister for Ecological Transition, addresses the 66th plenary meeting of the General Assembly on sustainable development. [photo: UN/Loey Felipe via Co-op News]
On April 18, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the first resolution on Promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) for Sustainable Development naming cooperatives as a core pillar of the SSE—a recognition NCBA CLUSA and the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) have long advocated for.

The resolution includes a definition of the SSE as “enterprises, organizations and other entities engaged in economic, social and environmental activities which serve the collective and/or general interest, based on the principles of voluntary cooperation and mutual aid, democratic and/or participatory governance, autonomy and independence, and the primacy of people and social purpose over capital in the distribution and use of surpluses and/or profits.” NCBA CLUSA sent this letter urging the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations to support adoption of the resolution.

“Cooperatives have a long tradition and history as a proven strategy for economic mobility in sectors that have gone to scale,” said Doug O’Brien, president and CEO of NCBA CLUSA. “We applaud the United Nations’ recognition of the critical role that cooperatives have in building a more inclusive economy and urge U.S. policymakers at all levels of government to develop enabling environments through legislation, technical assistance and access to capital.”

ICA President Ariel Guarco also marked the recognition. “This is a historic moment for the SSE family. The cooperative movement has been one of the main institutional pillars constituting the SSE ever since its origins in the 1830s, and has been actively engaged in the modern revival of the SSE concept,” he said in a press release. “We believe the resolution will be a key instrument in increasing the visibility of the SSE and providing the opportunity for a focused exchange of knowledge and learning by member states, guiding UN agencies on SSE priority areas of work and documenting our contributions to sustainable development”

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