Canada Supports UN Resolution on Co-operatives in Social Development

(No. 370 - December 3, 2009 - 4:30 p.m. EST) The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue, Minister of State (Agriculture) and Minister responsible for the Co-operatives Secretariat, today expressed on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada’s support for a United Nations resolution on the role of co-operatives in social development, which will proclaim 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives. The resolution will be submitted for approval to the UN General Assembly later this month.

"Canada supports the proposed adoption of the UN resolution entitled Co-operatives in Social Development that is aimed at urging governments to create a supportive environment for the development of co-operatives," said Minister Blackburn. "This nation has over 100 years of co-operative tradition that has never stopped innovating and evolving. Our government fully recognizes the importance of co-operatives and their contribution to Canadian society. The co-operative model is a valuable tool for both urban and rural development, which has proven to be efficient and which contributes greatly to addressing a wide range of personal and community needs, especially in rural and remote communities, where co-operatives create jobs and provide essential goods and services."

"This proposed UN resolution is a good example of an important domestic issue for Canada being advanced on the international stage," said Minister Cannon. "Co-operatives provide critical services to approximately 17 million members across Canada, and to 800 million members internationally."

The Government of Canada intends to use the International Year of Co-operatives to promote the benefits of the co-operative model, as well as to raise awareness of the contribution of co-operatives to Canada’s socio-economic development.

For more information on co-operatives in Canada, visit Co-operatives.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Sophie Doucet
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)
613-947-7298

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874