Message from the International Cooperative Alliance for International Cooperative Day 2019

5 July 2019


“Cooperatives for decent work”

On this year’s International Day of Cooperatives (CoopsDay), to be celebrated on 6 July, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) has issued a message to say that the ICA and cooperatives around the world are championing a commitment to decent work. This year’s event will be the 97th ICA International Cooperative Day. The event is also, more recently, championed the United Nations and this year will be the 25th UN International Day of Cooperatives.

The ICA’s message for CoopsDay says that given today’s widening inequality, increased job insecurity, and high unemployment levels–particularly among young people – the 2019 Coopsday theme “Cooperatives 4 decent work” supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 “Inclusive development and decent work.”

To do this the ICA has joined forces with the International Labour Organisation – the ILO – an organisation it has worked with hand in hand since its inception and which this year is celebrating its centenary with a special focus on the future of work.

The ICA and the ILO recently reaffirmed their century-long friendship by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster collaboration and the promotion of cooperatives as a sustainable business model to advance inclusive and sustainable development.

With the ICA having committed itself to “respect, promote, and act diligently to support the fundamental tenets of decent work” through its Declaration on Decent Work and Against Harassment, the organisation also welcomed the ILO Centenary Declaration adopted on 21 June 2019 which commits “to a world free of violence and harassment” and gives recognition to cooperatives and the social and solidarity economy.

The ICA says that cooperatives responsible for providing jobs or work opportunities to 10% of the world’s employed population. Beyond these numbers, different studies have confirmed that – in comparison with employment in other sectors – cooperative jobs…

  • tend to be more sustainable over time
  • have a smaller gap between the lowest and highest earners, and
  • are more evenly distributed between rural and urban areas.

The second International Cooperative Principle, “Democratic member control,” enables communities to own and govern cooperatives jointly through democratic control, bringing brings about inclusive and sustainable growth, and leaving no one behind. As people-centred enterprises and key development actors, the ICA says that cooperatives have an important role to play in the creation of decent jobs and the social and economic empowerment of local communities.

International Day of Cooperatives is a day to give recognition to the whole international community for the role that all cooperatives are playing in creating a better world.

The ICA says that the cooperative movement is working towards building a fairer economy – by putting people and their needs and aspirations, first. This means building a society based on the cooperative principles and values to create decent work.

The ICA has issued, in its message for CoopsDay, an invitation to all cooperatives to join it on 6th July 2019 in celebrating a future in which human development and social justice are priorities.

More information at

About the International Day of Cooperatives

The International Day of Cooperatives is an annual celebration of the cooperative movement which happens on the first Saturday of July since 1923 by the ICA. Since 1995, together with the United Nations, the ICA have been setting the theme for the celebration of #CoopsDay through the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC), a multi-stakeholder partnership of global public and private institutions that champions and supports people-centred and self-sustaining cooperative enterprises as leaders in sustainable development. The ICA is a founding member.

ICMIF is delighted to confirm that Ariel Guarco, President of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) will be one of the keynote speakers at the 27th ICMIF/Americas Annual Conference (August 21-23, 2019) in Mendoza, Argentina. His presentation will be entitled “Cooperativism – a Key Actor in the Agenda 2030”. More than 120 delegates are expected to attend the Conference which will be hosted by the Argentinean Association of Cooperative and Mutual Insurers (AACMS) and the Association of Insurers of the Interior of the Argentine Republic (ADIRA).

The theme of this year’s ICMIF/Americas Annual Conference, Collaborating and Innovating for the Digital Age, will provide a focus on how cooperative and mutual insurers can embed innovation and agility into their businesses and harness the power of collaboration in order to thrive in the fast-changing digital age.

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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