On July 1, the global cooperative movement came together to mark the 2023 International Day of Cooperatives, also called #CoopsDay. With the theme “Cooperatives for sustainable development”, this year’s celebration wanted to highlight the profound impact of cooperatives in driving progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It was a great day for cooperatives around the world, celebrated in many different ways. All showing the pride of being part of a movement that puts people, the community and the planet at the center, to build a sustainable future (See map of events around the world).
Major event in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain
Among all these events, the International Conference ‘Cooperatives for Sustainable Development’ was convened, which brought together cooperative members from all over the world, both in Donostia-San Sebastián and online, to explore the intricate relationship between the cooperative movement and each one of the 17 SDGs.
The event, jointly organized by the Higher Council of Cooperatives of the Basque Country, Konfekoop and COCETA in collaboration with the International Cooperative Alliance, began with opening remarks by the authorities of the Basque Country together with the President of the ICA, Ariel Guarco, and the Head of the Department of the Division for Inclusive Social Development of UNDESA, Wenyan Yang, setting the stage for an attractive program that included six round tables.
At these tables, members of cooperatives from various countries shared their experiences and strategies on how their cooperatives contribute to the achievement of each of the SDGs.
Outreach to young people
Among the conclusions of the day, the global cooperative movement wants to work to strengthen cooperative entrepreneurship and bring it closer to youth, so that society in general and young people in particular know and value cooperatives as an option for the future, in his professional journey.
Likewise, among the many areas in which it works, cooperatives promote gender equality and the empowerment of women; claim social justice and workers’ rights; they are pioneer and protagonist in the technological-digital, energy-climate and health-social transitions, and have shown itself to be more resilient in the face of difficulties.
The cooperative movement reminds that in barely two months the current status of the 2030 Agenda will be reviewed, just halfway through the term of its implementation. What is known so far is that the SDGs are a long way from being met and that efforts must be redoubled.