A message from Dame Pauline Green of the ICA on this year’s Co-op Day theme:
Dear Fellow Co-operators,
I am most pleased to announce that the theme of this year’s International Co-operative Day, to be celebrated on 5 July, will be “Co-operative enterprises achieve sustainable development for all.”
Sustainability is a key theme of the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade. Our shared vision is to spread the word that co-operatives are inherently more sustainable because of our solid community links that ensures that the local community which has most to gain by protecting its local environment, is also directing our economic decision making through its ownership of our local co-operative enterprises. It also means that we can respond to community needs to view ‘sustainability’ as a more inclusive concept i.e. not just protecting the planet, but creating jobs, raising standards of living, improving local services, providing good working conditions, and improving the wealth and health of the local environment and community for future generations. International Co-operative Day this year is an opportunity for you to show what your co-operative does to create a more sustainable future for the planet and its people. Read the Alliance’s announcement here.
As ever, I have continued to learn about another unique and growing co-operative family this month when I had the honour of attending the First National Co-operative Congress in Kathmandu, Nepal. One of the real joys of my position as President of the International Co-operative Alliance is to meet with and talk to local co-operators such as yourselves. Only by gaining first-hand experience such as this can we at the Alliance hope to truly understand and act upon our members’ needs. Nepal’s co-operative movement is enjoying a resurgence and agricultural co-ops are multiplying across the country, doing much to help lower the number of those living below the poverty line. As ever, the challenge now is to help farmers to move on to the development of co-operatively owned value chain, so that their communities can benefit from the additional prosperity that will bring. The Congress began with a huge rally in the National Stadium which I was privileged to address along with the President of the Republic, and ended with an uplifting, personal and committed speech from the Prime Minister Mr Sushil Koirala. This 800 strong Congress was as lively, passionate and bursting with committed co-operators as I’ve seen anywhere in the world. Congratulations to the Nepal Co-operative Federation for its organisation.