COPAC members meet with UN DESA taking over the rotating chair responsibilities

Representatives from UN DESA, ILO, FAO, UNRISD and the ICA participated in the meeting that took place in hybrid format in Brussels and online on March 21, 2023.

News | 28 March 2023
UN DESA took over as chair of the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) for a two-year period. In taking over the position Ms Yan thanked the International Cooperative Alliance for its leadership of COPAC for two years. She also welcomed UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) to the membership of COPAC.

Dating back to 1971, COPAC brings together global public and private institutions to champion and support people-centred and self-sustaining cooperative enterprises as leaders in sustainable development. Its current members are the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the ICA.

To advance their shared mission and vision, the members of COPAC collaborate on promoting and raising awareness about cooperatives, strengthening cooperatives around the world through capacity building, participating in policy initiatives that affect cooperatives and serving as a resource for cooperative knowledge through information gathering and sharing. COPAC is also responsible for choosing the theme of the UN International Day of Cooperatives, which is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July.

During the meeting, the members discussed the 2022 activities and accounts of COPAC. They also talked about induction of potential new members to COPAC and the 2023 events and budgets, including on statistics and legislation. Among the areas of discussion was the UN SD report on cooperatives for social development for 2023 and the expert meeting that will be organized by UN DESA beforehand. The members held some exchanges about COPAC engagement with the UNTFSSE and the relationships between the UN resolutions on cooperatives for social development and the SSE and sustainable development.

This year’s International Day of Cooperatives will be celebrated on Saturday July 1, 2023. Government organizations and cooperative movements will be organizing events around the world.