Press Releases

    26 June 2002

    Secretary-General Urges "Widest Possible Use" of Cooperative Experience in Service of Global Community

    NEW YORK, 25 June (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message of Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the occasion of the International Day of Cooperatives, 6 July:

    The theme for this year's International Day of Cooperatives -- "Society and Cooperatives: Concern for Community" -- highlights the important contribution cooperatives make as associations and enterprises through which citizens can improve their lives while contributing to the economic, social, cultural and political advancement of their community and nation.

    Cooperatives support social cohesion and stability and give life to the concepts of corporate responsibility and citizenship. They provide essential services, ranging from housing to health care, that strengthen community development. They respond to social challenges with a people-centred approach that helps to create opportunities for the disabled and to protect the environment. And through training, business assistance and credit, they empower individuals and communities.

    In an age where community involvement and partnerships with civil society are increasingly being recognized as indispensable, there is clearly a growing potential for cooperative development and renewal worldwide. The new United Nations Guidelines proposed by the General Assembly last year to help create a supportive environment for cooperatives are designed to facilitate that process. On this International Day of Cooperatives, let us resolve to make the best and widest possible use of the cooperative spirit and experience, in the service of our global community.

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