The International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July. It aims to promote and raise awareness about the importance of cooperatives in economic, social, and cultural development, as well as their contribution to poverty reduction, employment generation, and social integration.
Cooperatives are organizations that are owned and operated by their members, who come together voluntarily to meet common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations. They can take various forms, such as agricultural cooperatives, worker cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, housing cooperatives, and credit unions.
The International Day of Cooperatives was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1995, and it has been celebrated every year since then. Each year, the day has a specific theme that reflects the current challenges and opportunities facing cooperatives worldwide.
On this day, cooperative organizations, members, and supporters organize various events and activities to promote the cooperative movement. These can include seminars, conferences, workshops, exhibitions, community service projects, and cooperative fairs. The celebrations provide an opportunity to highlight the achievements of cooperatives, share best practices, and discuss ways to further strengthen and promote cooperative enterprises.
The International Day of Cooperatives serves as a reminder of the role cooperatives play in advancing sustainable development, empowering communities, and fostering inclusive economic growth. It recognizes the cooperative principles of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity.
By celebrating the International Day of Cooperatives, individuals and communities around the world can acknowledge and appreciate the vital role of cooperatives in building a more just, equitable, and sustainable future.