The theme for the 2018 International Day of Co-operatives (Saturday 7 July) was confirmed earlier this year as “sustainable consumption and production of goods and services”. The aim is that the theme will give cooperatives the opportunity to show how they run successful businesses while still respecting the natural environment and the resources it offers.
With “sustainable consumption and production of goods and services” as the day’s theme in mind, cooperators from around the world were invited to participate in selecting the #CoopsDay slogan through a week’s campaign on social media. The vote closed yesterday, Thursday 8 February, and the winning slogan is “Sustainable societies through co-operation”.
The main theme was unveiled in the presence of the recently elected President of the International Co-operative Alliance, Ariel Guarco, at the event “Cooperatives: Developing people-focused strategies to end poverty”. This was organized by the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) in the framework of the 56th session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD56) in New York recently.
Ariel Guarco says: “We believe that cooperatives are an important and efficient instrument to fight poverty. Cooperatives bring people together in a democratic and equal way. They allow people to take control of their economic future and, because they are not owned by shareholders, the economic and social benefits of their activity stay in the communities where they are established. These are two very important characteristics of cooperatives especially when it comes to fighting poverty”.
The 2018 International Day of Cooperatives will be celebrated on the Saturday 7 July.
Why this theme?
Cooperatives have sustainability in their DNA, with concern for community as the seventh of their guiding principles.
Cooperatives have two centuries’ experience building sustainable and resilient societies. Among the examples, housing cooperatives help ensure safe dwellings; cooperative banks contribute to stability due to their proximity to their clients and provide access to finance at local level; and utility cooperatives are engaged in the transition to cleaner electricity and rural access to energy and water, to name just a few.
Among ICMIF members in general there are many inspiring and commendable examples of sustainability. We believe that the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, as the provider of financial security and prosperity to communities and individuals, has an inherent responsibility to ensuring its actions, operations and impacts are acceptable to stakeholders, including the environment.
ICMIF members providing insurance for low-income populations, or microinsurance, are also working hard to support the SDGs and increase sustainability. Microinsurance is now firmly accepted as an integral tool for poverty alleviation and building resilience in communities against natural and man-made disasters. In January 2015, ICMIF launched the 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy to develop mutual microinsurance in five countries, reaching out to 5 million uninsured low-income households, equate to 25 million individuals in total. The ultimate objective being to take low-income people out of poverty.
Mutual microinsurance can specifically assist with at least five of the SDGs namely Goals 1, 2, 3, 5 and 13:
- GOAL 1 NO POVERTY: Will help people escape the vicious cycle of poverty and provide a safety net to vulnerable communities.
- GOAL 2: ZERO HUNGER: Will help to ensure food security through the delivery of insurance protection to smallholder farmers, amongst others.
- GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING: In addition to increasing access to health insurance, will focus on health prevention and access to quality healthcare.
- GOAL 5 GENDER EQUALITY: Will positively impact on women who are most often the policyholders of a mutual microinsurance provider.
- GOAL 13 CLIMATE ACTION: The target communities of the 5-5-5 Strategy are the most vulnerable to climate change.
About the International Day of Cooperatives
The United Nations International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July.
The aim of this celebration is to increase awareness on cooperatives, highlight the complementary goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international cooperative movement, underscore the contributions of the movement to the resolution of the major problems addressed by the United Nations and strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors.