As the world celebrated 100th International Cooperative Day this year focussing on the theme “Cooperatives Build a Better World”, it is time to reiterate the commitment to increase awareness on cooperatives, as well as strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other supporting organizations including governments. It is pertinent to mention here that International Co-operative Day is an annual celebration of the co-operative movement observed on the first Saturday in July since 1923 by the International Co-operative Alliance. In this regard the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed on December 16, 1992, in its resolution 47/90, the first Saturday of July 1995 to be International Day of Cooperatives to mark the centenary of the establishment of the International Cooperative Alliance. Co-operatives around the world celebrate the day in various fashions and each year the organising institutions agree on a theme for the celebrations. The 2022 International Cooperatives Day theme “Cooperatives Build a Better World” has been aptly chosen to support the movement towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The United Nations invites cooperatives around the world to celebrate how the human-centred business model, inspired by the cooperative values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity and the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others, is helping in building a better world. Operating all around the world, in many different sectors of economy, cooperatives have proven themselves more resilient to crises than the average. They foster economic participation, fight against environmental degradation and climate change, generate good jobs, contribute to food security, keep financial capital within local communities, build ethical value chains, and, by improving people’s material conditions and security, contribute to positive peace. The International Day of Cooperatives is a great opportunity for businesses to celebrate the benefits of the cooperative business model and to promote cooperation around the world. Cooperatives help to promote economic democracy by giving people a say in how their businesses are run. They also provide members with an opportunity to share in the profits of the business. Cooperatives help to build strong communities by providing employment and training opportunities. They also help to keep money circulating within the community, rather than being sent out of the community. Therefore Cooperatives are undoubtedly the important key to promote and achieve sustainable development. This is because they encourage members to use resources wisely and to think about the long-term impact of their actions. As of today there is a dire need for the cooperative community to stand united and come forward to use the latest technology through a shared online identity and a common global platform to augment the existing Cooperative movement. This would help the cooperative organizations to participate, inform, educate, and pioneer a path for others to join and support the movement. In the long run the cooperatives will get further empowered to participate and thrive in the digital economy with latest state of art identity tools and resources. Every cooperative must prefer to use a specific domain name as the primary address for their website realizing that it elevates their cooperative identity, principles, and purpose. It will unite the cooperative movement online with a shared identity. It will definitely transform an organization’s value from a lone contributor to an active participant of a global online network of cooperatives. So with many good reasons let’s celebrate cooperatives by building strong communities that augment the building of a better world in accordance with the sustainable development goals set by the world body for the welfare of the human civilization using the natural resources most intelligently so that these can sustain for all generations to come.
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