Last week the International Co-operative Alliance published the ‘Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade’. The purpose of the document is to harness the energy generated during the UN International Year of Co-operatives 2012 and inspire the international co-operative movement to make significant steps forward by 2020.
We’re pleased that the final Blueprint has incorporated key themes, challenges and actions that were identified in the Dunsany Declaration for Rural Co-operative Development.
The co-operative movement is setting its sights high.
By 2020, the international co-operative movement aims to be:
• The acknowledged leader in economic, social and environmental sustainability
• The model preferred by people
• The fastest growing form of enterprise
Why are co-operatives important to rural communities across the world? This extract from the Blueprint neatly sums it up.
“In the midst of this uncertainty and suffering, co-operatives can provide some hope and clarity of direction for citizens around the world. Uniquely amongst models of enterprise, co-operatives bring economic resources under democratic control. The co-operative model is a commercially efficient and effective way of doing business that takes account of a wider range of human needs, of time horizons and of values in decision making. It is an approach which works on a very small, and on a very large scale. The co-operative sector is worldwide, providing millions of jobs around the globe. Co-operatives develop individual participation, can build personal self-confidence and resilience, and create social capital. Co-operative institutions create long-term security; they are long-lasting, sustainable and successful.”
As the document states, rarely has the argument in favour of co-operatives looked stronger.