The International Day of Cooperatives (#CoopsDay) will be celebrated as “Rebuild better together” on 3rd July 2021. Cooperatives around the world will showcase how they are meeting the COVID-19 pandemic crisis with solidarity and resilience and offering communities a people-centred and environmentally just recovery.
Worldwide, more than one billion cooperators, present in the fields of health, agriculture, production, retail, finance, housing, employment, education, social services, and many other spheres, continue to prove that no one needs to face a crisis like the pandemic on their own.
#CoopsDay will spread the word about how a human-centred business model, sustained by the cooperative values of self-help and solidarity and the ethical values of social responsibility and concern for community, can reduce inequality, create shared prosperity, and respond to the immediate impacts of COVID-19.
– ICA President, Mr. Ariel Guarco’s Message
The International Day of Cooperatives 2021 calls cooperatives across the globe to Rebuild Better Together for a people-centred and environmentally just recovery.
Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, the cooperatives in the Asia-Pacific region have stood together and exemplified resilience, solidarity, and cooperation. Cooperatives helped their members with the right information and provided relief, in cash and kind. At this point, where many countries in the region have witnessed the second wave of COVID-19, we need cooperation among cooperatives more than ever.
To rebuild better, we need to uphold our cooperative identity and show the world, the contribution made by cooperatives to national and international development. We need to create a dialogue, share our success stories with the world, strengthen and develop multilateral partnerships, upgrade our ways of working, adopt technology, and create a better enabling environment for the newer generation to join the cooperative movement.
The efforts of ICA-AP such as consultations with members on cooperative identity, Cooperatives Combat COVID Fund, virtual capacity building programmes and events are a step forward towards rebuilding a better tomorrow.
With the relevance of cooperatives greater than any time, we shall pool our collective wisdom and efforts to face the new circumstances, and together we can rebuild better!
ICA-AP President, Mr. Li Chunsheng’s Message
Rebuild Better Together means we can rebuild battered economies; make it better for the community and environment; and while individually vulnerable, can do more together!
Cooperatives in the Asia-Pacific region have already started to rebuild better together! In Australia, the Business Council of Cooperatives and Mutuals has shown that cooperatives play an important part in economic recovery by being resilient and stable businesses. The Australian government has recognized cooperatives and for the first time listed them alongside other business structures. The Indian Farmers Fertilizers Cooperative has developed nano fertilizers that can reduce the excess use of urea application, reduce harmful effects on the soli, protect plants better and improve crop yield. In Japan, the Japanese Workers Cooperative Union was successful in getting the Workers Cooperative Act passed during the pandemic. The Act will allow them to create diverse employment opportunities for vulnerable people such as the elderly, people with disabilities and women/ youth with various social difficulties and to implement businesses to meet diverse demands in local communities such as elderly care and childcare, particularly under the pandemic of COVID-19. In Nepal, the National Cooperative Federation has launched a campaign with its members to promote SDG 12 – sustainable production and consumption.
The pandemic transcended borders; affected nations, rich and poor; and cut across the class divide. However, the impact has not been uniform. Be it health, economic or any type of shock, the people most affected are the poorest and the most vulnerable. When health disasters hit – global inequality is sustained and reinforced and paid for with the lives of the poor and marginalized. The members in cooperatives tend to be largely from the poor and marginalized.
Cooperatives have risen to challenges during times of crisis and addressed the needs of the vulnerable. #Rebuild better together is the opportunity again for cooperatives to show the way to inclusive, resilient and sustainable economies and societies that respect people and the planet.
ICA-AP Regional Director, Mr. Balasubramanian Iyer’s Message
The International Day of Cooperatives is a day to celebrate the achievements of cooperatives and to show how a human-centred business model, sustained by values of self-help and solidarity and ethical values of social responsibility and concern for community, can reduce inequality, create shared prosperity, and respond to the immediate impacts of COVID-19. ICA members in the Asia and Pacific region can further this common goal in several ways. Read here
ICA-AP is also organising two webinars in the run-up to the International Day of Cooperatives. We invite you and your members to join us.