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

Sophie Doucet
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada