On International Day, UN promotes cooperative solutions for social inclusion

GENEVA — Cooperatives help to build inclusive economies and societies, and can help to eliminate poverty and reach the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the head of the United Nations labour agency today said, marking the International Day of Cooperatives, which is observed on 1st July of every year.

“Let us draw on the strengths of cooperatives as we pool efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda and make sure that no one is left behind,” the Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Guy Ryder said, referencing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes the SDGs.

Decent work is a fundamental mechanism for inclusion and social justice, Mr. Ryder said, noting that decent work is embedded in the SDGs.

“It means being particularly attentive to the situation of working women and men who are at risk of exclusion and poverty, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, migrants and refugees,” he said, highlighting this year’s theme for the Day, which is to ensure that no one is left behind.

Cooperatives allow people to create their own economic opportunities through the power of the collective, the UN has said, but there are still more areas where cooperatives’ potential can be explored.

Mr. Ryder noted that cooperatives could play a powerful role in efforts to eliminate child labour, forced labour and discrimination at work.

“Addressing the multi-dimensional challenges of inclusion will require cooperation and partnership,” he said.

The top 300 cooperatives alone generate $2.5 trillion in annual turnover, more than the GDP of France, according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).

The Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) � whose membership includes ILO, UNDESA and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) � is scheduled to host the observance of the 2017 International Day of Cooperatives during the High-level Political Forum, to be held from 10-19 July in New York. This year’s theme for the Forum is “eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world.”

Source: Emirates News Agency

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Empower, partners of UN initiative sign Global Co-operation Agreement

DUBAI — The Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation, Empower, signed a Global Co-operation Agreement with the partners of the United Nations Environment Programme, District Energy in Cities, at the 108th Annual Conference & Tradeshow of International District Energy Association, IDEA, held in Scottsdale, United States, US, from 26th to 29th June.

The Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, aims to enhance the conservational impact and development of district cooling in the UAE.

Earlier this year, Ahmad bin Shafar, CEO of Empower, was chosen by the United Nations Environment Programme to become the special advisor on district cooling within its “Global District Energy in Cities” initiative.

The agreement defines common objectives and a collaborative framework intended to increase deployment of district energy in respective countries around the globe. The goal is to increase energy efficiency, reduce emissions, strengthen local and regional economies, and deliver the social and environmental benefits of efficient district energy systems.

“At Empower we’ve always been committed to accelerating the deployment of district energy. The signing of the Global Co-operation Agreement is a testament to support Dubai’s Integrated Energy Strategy directed by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to build a green economy in the UAE and transform Dubai into a global centre for clean energy and green economy.

“While the agreement will facilitate international collaboration and cross-border exchange, it will also help us increase energy efficiency, enhance energy security, strengthen the local economy and reduce harmful emissions. In addition, it will also help educate and inform governments and citizens on the economic, environmental and energy-efficiency advantages of district energy systems in order to foster adoption of policies and regulations favourable for expansion and deployment,” Shafar said.

In effect, until 60 months from the date of execution, the Global Co-operation Agreement brings together countries such as Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Singapore, the UAE, the United Kingdom, and the US to jointly share efforts to advance the district energy industry and promote sustainable and resilient technologies.

In addition, the MoU will significantly enhance the pre-existing mutual co-operation between several countries and allow for the achievement of sustainability and resiliency goals at a larger scale than previously possible. Furthermore, the countries will jointly develop, promote and disseminate operational best practices and standardised technical guidelines to support continued industry growth while ensuring reliable, efficient and sustainable operations.

Empower is a member of the Board of Directors of IDEA.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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