Cooperative enterprises are a major force in global development, Annan says

23 September 2005

The international cooperative movement – providing more than 100 million jobs and affecting half the world’s people through ethical and socially inclusive enterprises – is a major force in reaching the development goals that were the focus of the World Summit, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

The international cooperative movement – providing more than 100 million jobs and affecting half the world’s people through ethical and socially inclusive enterprises – is a major force in reaching the development goals that were the focus of the World Summit, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

“Cooperative values of self-help, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity provide an essential foundation for the meaningful participation of poor people in development processes,” Mr. Annan told the International Cooperative Alliance General Assembly in Cartagena Colombia, in a statement delivered by Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.

Mr. Annan recalled the importance placed on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the ambitious, internationally-agreed targets for reducing poverty and other ills – at last week’s 2005 World Summit.

“This large and influential movement is well positioned to make major contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular the goal of halving extreme poverty and hunger by 2015,” he said.

The International Co-operative Alliance, founded in 1895, is an independent NGO which represents, connects and serves co-operatives worldwide. It is the largest NGO in the world.

ICA members are national and international cooperative organisations in all sectors of activity including agriculture, banking, fisheries, health, housing, industry, insurance, tourism and consumer co-operatives. Currently, ICA has 226 member organisations from 89 countries, representing more than 800 million individuals worldwide.

The ICA’s General Assembly in Cartagena runs from 22 to 23 September.

 

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