The International Co-operative Alliance for Americas (ICA-Americas), an organization whose mission is "To represent and defend the co-operative movement of Americas and promote its development and integration", holds every year its Regional Conference in various countries in the region. The XVI Regional Conference will take place during the week from July 22 to 25, 2008 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

This event is characterized for having the presence of more than 700 people in the co-operative sector from different countries of the region and elsewhere, as well as speakers who develop different issues and contribute with their experience and knowledge to strengthen and provide, year after year, the members with tools for improvement and greater projection of the co-operative movement in the region.

This year the theme of the XVI Regional Conference refers to two concepts of wide relevance nowadays: "Co-operative Social Responsibility and Democracy". Both concepts are essential in building the quality of life of co-operators, and therefore an important contribution for improving our society.

Social Responsibility suggests that the parties and actors of the social reality, particularly co-operatives, as socioeconomic organizations, acquire higher levels of awareness about the consequences of each of its acts and a broader understanding of the need for social welfare as a solidarity mission of their service.

The incidence of this action, based primarily on a co-operative ethic conception, implies an effect that universalizes and contributes in building the democratic life, while strengthening basic human rights like the right to decent work and democratic participation in those economic, social and cultural achievements that are generated from co-operative organizations.

In the context of this thematic issue, conferences and panels, meetings and sectorial forums will be organized, that will deepen in the knowledge of core aspects related to the main theme. Thus, it will try to establish how the co-operative movement helps generate the benefits that bring or could bring the globalization, mainly in terms of its incidence on social responsibility and promote of sustainable development and democracy.

Therefore, we extend our most cordial invitation to accompany us being an active part in this conference and thereby supporting the progress of the cooperative movement.

Thank you in advance for your kind attention and we respectfully ask you to disseminate this activity among cooperative organizations in your country so we can account with a significant and valuable national delegation.


Carlos G. Palacino Antía

Manuel Mariño
Director Regional




Alianza Cooperativa Internacional para las Américas
Tel.: (506) 2 296 0981 - 2 296 6374 - Fax: (506) 2 231-5842 / Apdo.: 6648-1000, San José, Costa Rica