New York – We live in a time of global uncertainty. Multiple crises and natural disasters are testing even the most robust economies and communities. The International Day of Cooperatives is an annual opportunity to highlight how cooperatives can contribute to building resilience in all regions and all economic sectors.
Over the course of the ongoing global financial and economic crises, financial cooperatives have proven their strength and resilience, benefitting members, employees and customers. They have maintained high credit ratings, increased assets and turnover, and expanded their membership and customer base.
After disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and floods, cooperatives have shown their ability to mobilize solidarity for reconstruction. Agricultural cooperatives improve the productivity of farmers by facilitating access to markets, credit, insurance and technology. Social cooperatives can provide an important safety net in the face of declining or minimal public welfare. They also show considerable potential for empowering youth and alleviating the growing global youth jobs crisis.
On this International Day of Cooperatives, I call on Governments to encourage policies to support and strengthen cooperatives so they can contribute fully to inclusive and sustainable development.