By Mehdi Garshasbi

Role of cooperatives in socioeconomic development

September 3, 2021 - 15:56

TEHRAN – September 4th has been registered on the Iranian calendar as the Day of Cooperatives. The national cooperatives law was enacted in the country on the same day in 1991. However, cooperatives were, for the first time, mentioned in Iran’s trade act back in 1924 and started activity officially in 1926.

As per the national cooperatives law, the cooperatives sector is obliged to provide conditions for all strata of the society to get a job and realize social justice by preventing special individuals and groups from having access to national assets. In other words, cooperatives aim to boost public participation toward improving socioeconomic development.

According to official statistics, some 97,000 cooperatives are currently active across the country, creating more than 1.8 million direct jobs.

Cooperatives also foster external equality. As they are community-based, they are committed to the sustainable development of their communities - environmentally, socially, and economically. This commitment can be seen in their support for community activities, local sourcing of supplies to benefit the local economy, and in decision-making that considers the impact on their communities.

The United Nations International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July. The aim of this celebration is to increase awareness about cooperatives, highlight the complementary goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international cooperative movement.

In 1992, following a concerted lobbying effort by the cooperative members of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) and COPAC members, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the International Day of Cooperatives by the UN by resolution 47/90 of December 16, 1992.

This year, the International Day of Cooperatives was celebrated on July 3 as “Rebuild better together”.


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