BRUSSELS, February 3, 2024 – The Director General of International Cooperative Alliance [ICA], Douglas Jeroen, accompanied by the ICA Director of Policy, Joseph Njuguna, recently visited the United Nations [ UN ] Headquarters in New York to have strategic discussions and plan for the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives in 2025.
“Concrete outcomes of these meetings include setting a roadmap for the launch of the International Year of Cooperatives, outlining some of the key areas of focus that would be impactful with measurable results for cooperatives, and actionable steps to be taken by stakeholders involved,” says the ICA.
According to the ICA, Key stakeholders, including the Chief of Social Perspective on Development Branch, Wenyan Yang, and Andrew Allimadi, the Coordinator of Cooperative Issues at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs [UNDESA] and Ulziibaaya Vangasuren, Counselor at the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the UN worked collaboratively to set the plans for the International Year.
Mongolia is the UN Member State that sponsored the resolution that called for the proclamation of 2025 as an International Year of Cooperatives and the Resolutions of Cooperatives in Social Development since 1992. The official launch of the International Year was discussed and proposed to happen during the ICA Global Conference scheduled for November 25-30, 2024, marking a crucial milestone in the planning process.
The ICA says deliberations also centered on determining priority objectives, the theme, and slogan that will guide the year-long celebration of cooperatives globally. “While the ICA is in contact with the United Nations during this process, the UN will set the theme, logo and timeline. We will communicate widely once a decision is made.”
Jeroen expressed gratitude for the productive and inclusive discussions that took place during these meetings, emphasising the commitment of all parties involved to make the International Year of Cooperatives a resounding success. “In the spirit of the successful first International Year of Cooperatives in 2012, the cooperative movement, with its diverse and inclusive nature, is poised to contribute significantly to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations.”
The ICA notes that as the world looks forward to 2025, the International Year of Cooperatives promises to be a momentous occasion, bringing together cooperatives, governments, civil society, and other stakeholders to celebrate achievements, address challenges, and foster collaboration for a more sustainable and equitable future.
In December 2023, the UN General Assembly, through its resolution on cooperatives in social development, called for the proclamation of another International Year of Cooperatives in 2025. The text encouraged all Member States, as well as the United Nations and all other relevant stakeholders, to take advantage of it, recognising the significant role that cooperatives play in promoting sustainable development, social inclusion, and economic growth worldwide.
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