The 2023 resolution on cooperatives in social development – adopted on 3 November by the United Nations General Assembly – calls for the proclamation of the second International Year of Cooperatives in 2025.
Following the success of the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives, the resolution encourages Member States, the UN and relevant stakeholders to take advantage of the International Year of Cooperatives as a way of promoting cooperatives and raising awareness of their contribution to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and to overall social and economic development.
In addition, the resolution draws the attention of Governments to the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General to focus support on cooperatives as sustainable and successful business enterprises by strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem for cooperatives as well as to review existing legislation and regulations to make the national legal and regulatory environment more conducive to the creation and growth of cooperatives.
Consultations with cooperatives are recommended as part of Governments’ preparations for their Voluntary National Reviews for the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The text also encourages Governments to intensify and expand the availability, accessibility and dissemination of evidence-based research on the operations and contribution of cooperatives, to develop a statistical framework for the systematic collection of comprehensive and disaggregated data.
The capacity of cooperatives to make important contributions to improve global food security is also acknowledged, inviting Governments to support agricultural and food cooperatives with measures to improve access to markets and financial capital, create enabling environments and strengthen collaboration across the many initiatives in this area.
The resolution notably focuses on the capacity for cooperatives to drive inclusive development, particularly in developing countries. It recognises the role of cooperatives in promoting the economic status and capacity building of women and the wellbeing of vulnerable and marginalised people.
COPAC Chair, Wenyan Yang, highlights the important moment the latest UN resolution creates for the cooperative movement, Member States and the international community to strengthen partnerships towards the acceleration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the occasion of the 2025 International Year of Cooperatives. “The second International Year of Cooperatives in 2025 will add momentum to further raise awareness of the cooperative business model and their role in accelerating the SDGs. There is also a proposed World Social Summit in 2025. Cooperatives would have an opportunity to contribute to building political commitment and a global consensus on strategies to address social challenges in the 21st century for a secure and just future for all. COPAC, as a multi-stakeholder partnership of UN agencies and the International Cooperative Alliance, is very well placed to make the International Year of Cooperatives in 2025 a fruitful and effective vehicle for achieving the SDGs.”
The final version of this resolution is expected to be published in December. The draft version that was adopted on 3 November 2023 can be found here.
You can find the recording of the 47th plenary meeting of the General Assembly in this link – to watch the adoption of this resolution from min 00:25 to 00:35