Decent Rural Employment

15th United Nations International Day of Cooperatives: ''Driving global recovery through cooperative enterprise''


The United Nations International Day of Cooperatives, declared by the United Nations in 1995, is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July. It underscores the contribution of the cooperative movement to resolving global issues addressed jointly by the cooperative movement and the United Nations.

The aim of the International Day of Cooperatives is to increase awareness on cooperatives, highlight the complementarity of the goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international co-operative movement and underscore the contribution of the movement to the resolution of the major problems addressed by both. The International Day also aims to strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors, including governments at local, national and international levels.

This year the 15th UN International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated on the 4th of July and the theme is ''Driving global recovery through cooperative enterprise''.

Cooperatives have long been a part of the ILO’s approach to promoting social justice through the world of work. The Organization’s Recommendation 193 on the Promotion of Cooperatives gives guidance on providing a supportive environment for cooperative development. On the occasion of the 15th International Day of Cooperatives the ILO - celebrating its 90th anniversary this year – affirms its commitment to promoting cooperative development for a Decent Work recovery.

FAO wants to highlight the important role that rural cooperatives play in driving rural areas' recovery from the world economic crisis, as rural cooperatives: (i) are based on an effective and sustainable business model that provide benefits to their members; (ii) offer vulnerable people the opportunity to become entrepreneurs (more growth with more equity); (iii) provide vital organizing values that are indispensable when trying to overcome any crisis (economic democracy, social responsibility, solidarity); (iv) and contribute to global economic recovery by promoting economic growth funded on ethical values.

The full messages prepared by FAO and ILO for the occasion can be found