New York, Monday, 11 July 2016 – At a side event during the UN’s High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the International Co-operative Alliance acknowledged the UN’s recognition of the power of co-operatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Alliance has been a longstanding partner to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

With ECOSOC, the Alliance has been working to create and co-ordinate sustainable co-operative development by promoting and raising awareness on co-operatives, holding policy dialogues and advocating policies that enable co-operative success. The Alliance showcased achievements of co-operatives in creating decent employment, engaging public-private partnerships for food  security and hunger eradication, and empowering women as community leaders – each key Sustainable Development Goals.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on the occasion of the 2016 International Day of Co-operatives, July 2nd 2016, said: “I urge Governments to create an enabling environment for co- operatives to thrive and grow. Let us harness the power of co-operatives to achieve the SDGs and create a world of dignity and opportunity for all.”

Alliance president, Monique F. Leroux: “We are grateful for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s support. Today is the day to commit to being a part of a different future than the one where we are otherwise headed. Ensuring that no one is left behind and contributing to eradicating poverty, co-operatives are unique in that they combine economic success with democratic governance and concern for community. This makes co-ops inherently sustainable businesses – significant social and economic actors. Co-ops generate more than 2.6 trillion USD in annual revenues and create over 250 million jobs. By actively engaging co-operatives around the world to make a specific measurable pledge toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the Alliance demonstrates that co-ops actually put their business where their values are – we walk the talk.”

Ariel Guarco, President of the Co-operative Confederation of Argentina (Cooperar) and Alliance board member, said as Chair of the event: “Joining forces in defence of the sustainability of our planet is as natural for co-operatives as joining forces in each of our localities, out of solidarity, to solve our common problems. A co-operative doesn’t need to be induced to be socially responsible. It is social responsibility in an enterprise form.”