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United Nations To Conduct Global Census On Cooperatives
NEW YORK (9/5/13)--Following the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives, the United Nation's Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) is beginning a first of its kind effort to conduct a global census on the cooperative system, which includes credit unions.
 
The International Year of Cooperatives raised the awareness of cooperatives and provided significant anecdotal evidence of their contribution to socio-economic development. The United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/66/123 not only proclaimed 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives but also encouraged governments, in collaboration with all stakeholders, to intensify and expand the availability and accessibility of research on the operations and contribution of cooperatives.
 
As has been the case with initiatives around global remittances flows and access to financial services, the United Nations again intends to play a catalyst role by initiating research on the scope, size and impact on an under-studied area. The International Year of Cooperatives brought to light the lack of comprehensive data on cooperatives and raised questions on how to successfully support their development. Today, only certain sectors of cooperatives--such as insurance, banking--and nations collect data.
 
As such, United Nations DESA is conducting a global census on cooperatives and mutuals with the assistance of in the field of cooperatives, Dave Grace & Associates. This activity will consolidate existing aggregate data on cooperatives and include new sources of information on cooperatives. The census began in August and results will be available towards the end of 2013.
 
The United Nations asks all partners in the cooperative system to participate in the forthcoming census.
 
For more information regarding the census contact Wenyan Yang, chief, social perspective on development, Division for Social Policy and Development, DESA or the research team at coopsyear@un.org.
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