Canadian Arctic Producers

2012 International Year of Co-operatives

(Excerpts from Executive Summary)

NEW YORK, 21 December 2010 (Department of Economic and Social Affairs) -- The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives, highlighting the contribution of co-operatives to socio-economic development.  In adopting resolution 64/136 on 18 December, the Assembly noted that co-operatives impact poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration.

A co-operative is an autonomous voluntary association of people who unite to meet common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations, through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.  In general, they contribute to socio-economic development.

As self-help organizations that meet the needs of their members, co-operatives assist in generating employment and incomes throughout local communities.  Co-operatives provide opportunities for social inclusion.  In the informal economy, workers have formed shared service co-operatives and associations to assist in their self-employment.  

The co-operative sector worldwide has about 800 million members in over 100 countries, and is estimated to account for more than 100 million jobs around the world.

ban_ki-moon_portrait.jpg      United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

"Recognizing that co-operatives, in their various forms, promote the fullest possible participation in the economic and social development of all people, including women, youth, older people, people with disabilities and indigenous peoples, are becoming a major factor of economic and social development and contribute to the eradication of poverty."