Cooperatives and the Sustainable Development Goals: A contribution to the post-2015 development debate

This paper highlights the contribution of cooperatives to sustainable development with a view to stimulating discussion on the role of cooperatives in the design and implementation of SDGs.

Sustainability is recognized as one of the five pillars of the International Co-operative Alliance’s (ICA) Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade, which aims to position cooperatives as builders of economic, social and environmental sustainability by 2020.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) highlighted decent work as a central goal and driver for sustainable development and a more environmentally sustainable economy. In order to bring cooperative voices into the discussion around the post-2015 development agenda, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and ICA launched an initiative on the contribution of cooperatives to sustainable development.

This report is an integral part of this initiative. Its main recommendations include:
Increased and more visible participation and engagement of the cooperative movement in the discussions around the post-2015 development agenda for sustainable development; and further involvement and acknowledgement of the cooperative model by the international community in the processes leading on to sustainable development goals. Cooperatives have much more to offer in ensuring inclusive and democratic sustainable development beyond 2015, and this publication and the wider initiative are an important step towards this objective.