On 18 December 2009, the United Nations proclaimed 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives.
The UN recognises that the co-operative business model is a major factor in realising economic and social development. The UN calls on governments, international institutions, co-operatives and other stakeholders to support the development and growth of co-operatives worldwide.
The Australian Government supports the resolution and has endorsed the Australian International Year of Co-operatives Steering Committee as the national focal point for IYC in Australia.
The members of the Steering Committee are listed below.
United Nations International Year of Co-operatives National Steering Committee - Australia
- Chair: Greg Wall, CEO Capricorn Society Ltd
- Alan Greig, Director, Australian Employee Buyout Centre
- Tony O'Shea, Chair, Co-operatives Australia
- Suzanne Henderson, Director, SBA
- Melina Morrison, Director, SBA
- Daniel Newlan, Senior Adviser, Policy & Public Affairs, Abacus
- Roger Nicoll, Director, West Belconnen Health Co-operative
- Richard O'Leary, CEO, Macleay Regional Co-operative Ltd
- Neville Parsons, CEO, Holiday Coast Credit Union
- Belinda Drew, CEO, Foresters Community Finance
- Peter Tregilgas, EO, Regional Development Australia, Mid North Coast
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for co-operatives, credit unions, mutuals, employee owned and social businesses everywhere to get involved. Together we can raise awareness and promote Australia's most sustainable and successful businesses. The momentum, potential and possibilities are increasing every day in the countdown to 2012!
On December 10, 2010 the United Nations officially announced that the theme for the International Year of Co-operatives is "Co-operative enterprises build a better world"
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, in particular recognizing their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration.
The United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/64/136 encourages all member States, the United Nations and all relevant stakeholders to take advantage of the IYC to promote cooperatives and raise awareness of their contribution to social and economic development and promote the formation and growth of cooperatives.
The International Year of Co-operatives, or IYC, celebrates a different way of doing business, one focused on human need not human greed, where the members (who own and govern the business) collectively enjoy the benefits instead of all profits going just to shareholders.
Having an International Year of Co-operatives provides an opportunity to captivate the attention of national governments, the business community and, most importantly, the general public on the advantages provided by the co-operative model.
Goals of the International Year of Cooperatives
- Increase public awareness about cooperatives and their contributions to socio-economic development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
- Promote the formation and growth of cooperatives
- Encourage Governments to establish policies, laws and regulations conducive to the formation, growth and stability of cooperatives
The International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) is a unique opportunity to increase understanding of the vital role and contribution of cooperatives in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit for Social Development.
The logo is based on the slogan for the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC), which is “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.” The logo of IYC 2012 evokes the definition of cooperative enterprises as autonomous associations of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations, through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. The logo depicts seven people, representing the seven co-operative principles, holding up a building block and illustrating the theme of the International Year - "Co-operative enterprises build a better world".
The slogan for the International Year of Cooperatives 2012 is “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.”
The slogan reminds of the important contributions that cooperatives can and do make to socioeconomic development at all levels of society, from the local to the international community.
It makes the underlying declaration that economic viability need not be divorced from social responsibility "Co-operatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility." Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General
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