International Day of Cooperatives 2024 (6th July), Theme & History

International Day of Cooperatives 2024

International Day of Cooperatives is always celebrated on the first Saturday of July, which means in 2024 it will fall on July 6th. This annual event recognizes the contributions of cooperatives worldwide and highlights their impact on building a more sustainable and equitable future.

International Day of Cooperatives Theme 2024

While the official theme for 2024 hasn’t been announced yet, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) typically announces it around April/May each year. However, some potential themes circulating based on current trends and ongoing issues include:

  • “Cooperatives for climate action: Building a sustainable future”
  • “Empowering youth through cooperatives: The future of work”
  • “Cooperatives for inclusive development: Leaving no one behind”
  • “Digitalization and innovation in cooperatives: Building a resilient future”
  • “Celebrating the diversity of cooperatives: Strength in unity”

History of International Day of Cooperatives

International Day of Cooperatives (IDoC) boasts a rich history, tracing its roots back over a century and culminating in the global celebration we witness today. Here’s a closer look at its fascinating journey:

Early Beginnings (1844-1922)

  • The cooperative movement itself emerged in the mid-19th century, with pioneering efforts like the Rochdale Pioneers in England (1844) establishing principles of democratic governance and economic fairness.
  • Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, cooperatives spread across various sectors like agriculture, consumer goods, and credit unions, impacting communities around the world.
  • However, a dedicated international day honoring these initiatives was still an unrealized dream.

Birth of International Cooperative Day (1923)

  • In 1922, at the 12th International Cooperative Congress in Basel, Switzerland, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) proposed establishing a specific day to celebrate cooperatives globally.
  • The suggestion was embraced, and the Congress unanimously decided to dedicate the first Saturday of July as International Cooperative Day, starting in 1923.
  • This decision aimed to:
    • Raise awareness: Publicly recognize the significant contributions of cooperatives to social and economic development.
    • Strengthen unity: Foster a sense of global solidarity and collaboration among cooperatives worldwide.
    • Promote growth: Encourage the expansion and impact of cooperatives across different societies and sectors.

Evolution and Recognition (1923-1995)

  • For over seven decades, International Cooperative Day remained a primarily internal celebration within the cooperative movement.
  • However, its significance resonated internationally, and in 1992, the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized the day by adopting resolution 47/90.
  • This acknowledgment further amplified the global reach and impact of IDoC, bringing it to the attention of governments, civil society organizations, and the wider public.

International Day of Cooperatives Today

  • In 2024, IDoC will witness its 102nd celebration, signifying its enduring legacy and relevance in today’s world.
  • Each year, a specific theme is chosen to focus on various aspects of the cooperative movement, highlighting current challenges and opportunities.
  • The day is marked by diverse celebrations worldwide, including conferences, seminars, cultural events, and community gatherings.
  • IDoC serves as a crucial platform to:
    • Continue raising awareness: Educate the public about the diverse forms and benefits of cooperatives in various sectors.
    • Celebrate successes: Recognize the achievements and impact of cooperatives across different regions and communities.
    • Advocate for support: Promote policies and resources that enable cooperatives to thrive and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future.
    • Strengthen collaboration: Encourage partnerships between cooperatives, governments, businesses, and civil society organizations for greater impact.

By understanding the history of the International Day of Cooperatives, we appreciate its importance in shaping the global landscape of cooperative initiatives. By actively participating in this annual celebration, we can contribute to ensuring a future where cooperatives continue to play a vital role in building a more prosperous and inclusive world for all.

Significance of International Day of Cooperatives

International Day of Cooperatives (IDoC), celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July, holds immense significance on multiple levels, impacting both individual communities and the world at large. Here’s a deeper dive into its importance:

  • Recognition and appreciation: IDoC provides a dedicated platform to acknowledge the contributions of cooperatives and their members in various sectors, from agriculture and finance to healthcare and housing.
  • Strengthening solidarity and unity: The day fosters a sense of global community among cooperatives, connecting members across different countries and sectors, and promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing.
  • Boosting morale and motivation: Celebrating the achievements of cooperatives motivates members and inspires them to continue their work in building a better future for themselves and their communities.
  • Promoting growth and development: IDoC highlights the potential of cooperatives to empower individuals, create jobs, and contribute to economic development, especially in underserved areas.
  • Raising awareness: The day educates the public about the diverse forms and benefits of cooperatives, showcasing their positive impact on social justice, economic fairness, and environmental sustainability.
  • Addressing global challenges: IDoC emphasizes the role of cooperatives in tackling crucial issues like poverty, hunger, climate change, and inequality, demonstrating their contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Promoting ethical and sustainable practices: Cooperatives, with their focus on democratic governance and community well-being, offer an alternative model of economic development that prioritizes ethical values and environmental responsibility.
  • Encouraging participation and empowerment: IDoC highlights the potential of cooperatives to empower individuals and communities, giving them a voice and ownership in shaping their futures.

6th July 2024 Special Day

6th July carries global solidarity significance as the United Nations commemorates International Day of Cooperatives in 2024. Coinciding symbolically with the first Saturday of July annually, this observance celebrates cooperative enterprises’ role in sustaining livelihoods worldwide since 1995. The opportune timing provides a timely moment to spotlight the ‘Power of We’ in catalyzing socio-economic equality and community growth. As collaborative organizations unite across nations on this particular 2024 date, the message resounds clearly – cooperation paves the path to shared prosperity.


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