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International Day of Cooperatives
SatJul 1

International Day of Cooperatives – July 1, 2023

International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated on the first Saturday of every July. This year the day will be celebrated on July 3 by cooperatives all across the world. The aim of this celebration is to increase awareness about cooperatives by highlighting how the United Nations shares similar goals and objectives as the international cooperative movement. This day aims to acknowledge the contributions of cooperatives to resolve some of the major international issues that have drawn the attention of the United Nations. The day also aims to strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other outfits of social development.

History of International Day of Cooperatives

Cooperatives are associations and enterprises that allow people to improve their lives while contributing to the economic, social, cultural, and political advancement of their community and nation. For years, these cooperatives have been responsible for wealth creation and eliminating poverty. They are also often major stakeholders in national and international affairs. The members contribute equitably to and democratically control the wealth and profits of the cooperative association. Cooperatives tend to be people-centered and not capital-centered, therefore they tend to be more ethical and fair when it comes to accelerating capital concentration.

Co-operatives also foster equality. Since they are community-based, cooperatives are committed to the sustainable development of their communities — this includes environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Cooperatives also contribute to community activities, local businesses, and decision-making that impacts their communities. Although they are mostly focused on their local community, cooperatives aspire to share their economic and social success with everyone. They also aim to erase inequality and excesses that are rampant under modern-day capitalism. The cooperative movement is highly democratic and locally autonomous but internationally integrated. The movement encourages citizens to be self-reliant and take responsibility for their economic, social, and environmental prosperity. Cooperatives have been successful in overcoming poverty, securing productive employment, and encouraging social integration.

International Day of Cooperatives timeline

The I.C.A.

The International Co-operative Alliance starts operation in Brussels.

The U.N.

The United Nations is established in New York City.


COPAC (the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives) is formed in the 23rd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

International Day of Cooperatives

The United Nations General Assembly officially recognizes International Day of Cooperatives.

International Day of Cooperatives FAQs

Why is International Day of Cooperatives celebrated?

International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated to increase awareness of cooperatives and highlight their objective in making the world equal and sustainable. 

What is an international cooperative?

The International Cooperative Alliance is an independent non-governmental organization that unites, represents, and serves cooperative organizations in the world. 

Who is the pioneer of the cooperative movement?

Robert Owen is the father of the cooperative movement. He believed that workers deserve to work in a good environment with access to education for themselves and their children.

How to Observe International Day of Cooperatives

  1. Learn about the movement

    Cooperative movements have been around for over a century. They have made communities self-dependent and sustainable. Take this day to read up more about cooperative movements and their history.

  2. Donate to a movement

    You can donate to ICA, COPAC, or any other local cooperative movements that work with the community to improve people’s lives.

  3. Volunteer with a cooperative

    If you are interested in grassroots social work, you could also volunteer to work with a local cooperative. Raising awareness, organizing fund drives, and educating local communities are some fields you could volunteer for.

5 Facts About The United Nations That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. The longest speech lasted eight hours

    Indian representative V.K. Krishna Menon delivered the longest speech before the U.N. in 1957, which lasted eight hours.

  2. The first woman in charge

    Canadian diplomat Louise Fréchette became the first female U.N. Deputy Secretary-General in 1999.

  3. It has six official languages

    The U.N. has six official languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and Mandarin.

  4. Sudan is the newest member

    Sudan joined the United Nations in 2011.

  5. Indonesia once withdrew from the U.N.

    Indonesia once withdrew from the U.N. — it rejoined a year later but it is the only country to have ever left the U.N.

Why International Day of Cooperatives is Important

  1. It celebrates inclusivity

    International Day of Cooperatives aims to make our society truly socially, economically, politically, and culturally inclusive by giving people an opportunity to make their own wealth.

  2. It celebrates self-reliance

    Cooperatives teach us to be self-reliant. They give us the tools to help ourselves and our communities make social and economical progress while ensuring fair opportunities and wealth distribution.

  3. It promotes sustainability

    The creation of capital can further divide the gaps between the rich and the poor. However, cooperative movements have been actively trying to encourage the creation of sustainable wealth without exploiting the underprivileged.

International Day of Cooperatives dates

2022July 2Saturday
2023July 1Saturday
2024July 6Saturday
2025July 5Saturday
2026July 4Saturday
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