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International Day of Co-operatives

The International Day: Aim

The International Co-operative Day / International Day of Co-operatives is celebrated on the first Saturday in July every year. Its aim is to raise awareness on co-operatives and promote the movement’s successes and ideals of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace. The International Day also aims to strengthen and extend partnerships between the international co-operative movement and other actors, including governments, at local, national and international levels.

The International Day: Background

ICA first celebrated The International Day in 1923. In 1994, thanks to the lobbying efforts made through the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) of which ICA is a member, the United Nations recognized and reaffirmed that co-operatives have an important role to play in economic, social and cultural development and proclaimed an UN International Day of Co-operatives to be celebrated for the first time in 1995, marking the centenary of the establishment of ICA.

The UN requested all its member governments to join with their co-operative movements to celebrate the day.

The decision of the UN to celebrate an international day with ICA highlights the complementarity of the goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international cooperative movement. Both the ICA and UN Days are celebrated on the same day - the first Saturday in July every year.

Since 1995, ICA and the United Nations through COPAC jointly set the theme for the celebration of each International Day. It underscores the contribution of the movement to resolving global issues addressed both the Cooperative Movement and the United Nations. The theme is generally selected in the Spring. ICA prepares a message for the Day which is disseminated to all ICA members, international organizations including the United Nations and its agencies, development partners and the press.

ICA messages for the International Co-operative Day

Below are the messages sent by the International Cooperative Alliance in the opportunity of the celebration of the International Day of Cooperatives of the United Nations since its inception in 1995 to date.

Co-operatives ensure no-one is left behind​
1 July 2017

Co-operatives: The power to act for a sustainable future
2 July 2016

Choose co-operative, choose equality
4 July 2015

Co-operative enterprises achieve sustainable development for all
5 July 2014

Co-operative enterprise remains strong in time of crisis
6 July 2013

Cooperative enterprises build a better world
7 July 2012

Youth, the future of co-operative enterprise
2 July 2011

Cooperative enterprise empowers women
3 July 2010

Driving Global Recovery through Cooperative Enterprise
4 July 2009

Confronting Climate Change through Cooperative Enterprise
5 July 2008

Cooperative Values and Principles for Corporate Social Responsibility
7 July 2007

Peace-Building through Cooperatives
1 July 2006

Microfinance is our business: Cooperating out of poverty
2 July 2005

Cooperatives for Fair Globalisation: Creating Opportunities for All
3 July 2004

Cooperatives Make Development Happen!: The contribution of cooperatives to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals
5 July 2003

Society and Cooperatives: Concern for Community
6 July 2002

The Cooperative Advantage in the Third Millennium
7 July 2001

Cooperatives and Employment Promotion
1 July 2000

Public Policy and Co-operative Legislation
3 July 1999

Cooperatives and the Globalization of the Economy
4 July 1998

The Cooperative Contribution to World Food Security
5 July 1997

Cooperative Enterprise: Empowerment for People-centred Sustainable Development
6 July 1996

The ICA Centennial and the Next 100 Years of International Cooperation
1 July 1995