The International Day of cooperatives will be celebrating tomorrow a human-centred work agenda

05 Jul 2019

The Cooperative movement will celebrate its big day tomorrow, 6 July, by giving the cooperative enterprise model an opportunity to showcase its difference in doing business which puts people before profit! Taking account of the rising inequalities and uncertainties in jobs overall, topped with high unemployment levels, this year’s theme of the International Day of Cooperatives (CoopsDay) is “Cooperatives for Decent Work” associated with SDG8.[1]

In his 2019 #CoopsDay video message, the President of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Ariel Guarco said “we are a tool that strengthens human development and social justice through work. This is why we're joining the centenary celebrations of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) - an organisation we've worked with hand in hand since its beginnings”. 

Guy Ryder, Director General of the ILO highlighted the importance of the cooperative business model towards decent work stating in this video message, released in support of CoopsDay, that “cooperatives are taking concrete action towards social justice, equality and non-discrimination and are putting systems in place to track their contribution to decent work”. 

To deepen its commitment on the future of work agenda, the ICA renewed recently its partnership with the ILO signing a new Memorandum of Understanding, strengthening their century-long collaboration and friendship. It is noteworthy to mention that the ILO also recognized cooperatives and the social solidarity economy as important drivers for “decent Work, productive employment and improved living standards for all” in its Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, reinforcing the strong role that cooperatives continue to play in a challenging world of work.  

Why is it so important to mark the date? 

Cooperatives are responsible for providing jobs or work opportunities to 10% of the world's employed population. Beyond these numbers, various studies have confirmed that – in comparison with employment in other sectors – cooperative jobs tend to be more sustainable over time; have a smaller gap between the lowest and highest earners; and are more evenly distributed between rural and urban areas (CICOPA).

In the CoopsDay interactive map developed in collaboration with DotCoop points to more than a hundred events marking the International Day that will be organised by cooperatives around the world. These are in the form of workshops, festivals, fundraising events and get-togethers. Cooperators from all corners of the world will showcase their cooperative difference!

Among them, the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) is organising a conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on 8 July, where UN Ambassadors, government representatives and cooperative leaders will engage in a discussion on the role of cooperatives and how to further enhance their developmental impact. On 3 July, the President Ariel Guarco took part in the celebration of Coopsday in Sunchales, considered the capital of cooperatives in Argentina.

The 2019 edition will be the 97thICA International Day of Cooperatives and the 25thUnited Nations International Day of Cooperatives. 

More information on


[1]Sustainable Development Goals n°8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth




Vanessa Alves Ferreira
International Cooperative Alliance


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