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Recognizing that cooperatives promote the fullest possible participation of all people in economic and social development, the General Assembly has proclaimed 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives (resolution 64/136 of 18 December 2009).

The Assembly urged Governments, relevant international organizations and specialized agencies to collaborate with national and international cooperative organizations in various endeavours, which would include developing the potential of cooperatives for attaining social development goals -- particularly in the eradication of poverty, the generation of full and productive employment, and the enhancement of social integration.

It also urged them to facilitate the establishment and development of cooperatives, by taking measures aimed at enabling people living in poverty or belonging to vulnerable groups -- including women, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons and indigenous peoples -- to fully participate in cooperatives on a voluntary basis, and to address their social service needs.

The Assembly has been observing the first Saturday in July as the International Day of Cooperatives since 1995. [1]


  1. United Nations, February 2010
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