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International CU Day celebrates financial co-ops global impact
MADISON, Wis.(5/12/11)--Cooperatives will be celebrated throughout the month of October with Co-op Month in the U.S., Co-op Week in Canada, Oct. 16-22, and International Credit Union Day celebrations on Oct. 20.
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This year’s International Credit Union Day theme, “Credit Unions Build a Better World,” celebrates the important economic and social contributions credit unions make to their communities worldwide. It also aligns cooperatively owned and controlled credit unions with the greater cooperative business sector and the United Nations as they launch the International Year of Cooperatives 2012, which begins Oct. 31, when cooperatives worldwide will unite in celebration with the theme “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.” “Credit unions continually demonstrate their ability to improve the lives of individuals, families, communities and countries around the world and have done so for generations,” said Pete Crear, president/CEO of World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). “As we celebrate International Credit Union Day this October and prepare for the United Nations' International Year of Cooperatives in 2012, we would do well to remember that we're all part of building a better world.” “We need more people to recognize that credit unions as member-owned cooperatives are the best option for financial services,” said Bill Cheney, president/CEO of Credit Union National Association (CUNA). “With the designation of 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, we have a unique opportunity to raise awareness. And tying in this year’s ICU Day theme with the larger International Year of Co-ops event will create synergy to further help consumers, policymakers and those in the media better understand that the cooperative model is a proven means of improving people’s lives and building a better world.” Cooperative businesses in the U.S. have celebrated Co-op Month since 1930. Throughout the month, the U.S. National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) works across cooperative sectors to promote the cooperative business model. NCBA continually strives to make cooperatives a key component of U.S. economic development policy by proposing legislative and regulatory changes that enable the sector’s growth. “It is fitting that this international group of cooperative organizations has come together to do what cooperative enterprise does so well--leverage resources for the mutual benefit of those that use them,” said Paul Hazen, NCBA president/CEO. “The truth of the slogan can be found wherever you find cooperative enterprise. Cooperatives put people first and respond to needs of their member owners.” Canadians celebrate Co-op Week during the third week of October, which coincides with ICU Day. An international committee of representatives from WOCCU, CUNA, Canadian Central, NCBA, CCA, Conseil canadien de la coopération et de la mutualité (CCCM - Canada) and Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité (CQCM - Canada) collaborated to align the theme and artwork for their annual events with the United Nations’ global recognition of cooperatives.
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