Cooperatives Issues

Cooperatives and Equality: Equality counts among the six guiding values for cooperative enterprises, and open and voluntary membership is one of the principles to which cooperatives subscribe. Cooperative enterprises also have a “one member, one vote” system, which ensures that decision making powers are equally shared amongst their members . Being people-centred enterprises, cooperatives focus on the needs of their members and of the communities in which they operate, rather than on financial returns alone.

Cooperatives and poverty reduction: Cooperatives, as self-help organizations, contribute to the eradication of poverty through the economic and social progress of their members and employees and by stimulating the economies and enhancing the social fabric of the communities in which they operate.

Cooperatives and employment generation: Cooperatives help to create, improve and protect the income and employment opportunities of their members by pooling the limited individual resources of members to create business enterprises that enable them to participate in production, profit-sharing, cost-saving or risk-taking activities.

Cooperatives and social integration: Cooperatives promote social integration and cohesion in the face of inequalities in social capabilities by empowering and giving voice to the poor as well as marginalized groups and by promoting the organization of federations and alliances.

Cooperatives and globalization: Cooperatives work towards fair globalization - one that is fundamentally inclusive, sustainable and people-centred – by creating business entities that promote solidarity among peoples, greater accountability, deeper partnerships and fairer rules and standards that offers equitable opportunities for all.

Cooperatives and post crisis/conflict, reconstruction and reintegration in disaster areas: Cooperatives through their economic model which stresses self-help and mutual aid, promote local economic and social development. Cooperatives also help facilitate social and political reconciliation, and provide access to financial services and spur employment, as exemplified in their valuable role in rehabilitating survivors of the East Asian Tsunami.