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Cooperatives of the Americas present at the Political Forum on Development

17 April 2017

With the participation of Manuel Mariño, Regional Director of Cooperativas de las Américas and Arturo Piedra-Santa, Coordinator of the Development Department and Manager of the Cooperation Program with the European Union, CoopsAmericas attended the Fifth Meeting of the Political Forum on Development, held in Brussels, Belgium.

The Fifth Meeting of the Political Forum on Development (FPD) took place on 21, 22 and 23 March in the city of Brussels, the seat of the European Union. Was attended by 161 representatives of NGOs, cooperatives, trade unions, feminist organizations, local authorities and entrepreneurs from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas to exchange issues of mutual interest with European Union authorities.
The meeting was organized in three thematic sessions. The first, "Issues related to FPD", included the presentation of the achievements in 2016 and the opportunities for 2017; As well as the recommendations resulting from the review of the FPD. It was also an exchange on the renewal of the FPD and the members of the Task Team.

The second theme was "The European Union’s policy package", which analyzed the importance of the EU’s role in the implementation of Agenda 2030. It was noted that the world faces difficult times characterized by xenophobia and populism, the impacts of climate change, conflicts and inequalities, and other factors that threaten the gains that development has made in recent years. Despite these challenges, development aid is increasingly under pressure, which would affect the people who need it most.

To address this situation the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new European Consensus on Development which aims to adapt development policy to changes in the global context and to be consistent with the Lisbon Treaty and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development . The new Consensus reflects the objectives of the EU’s external action and is organized around the five P’s of 2030 Agenda: people, the planet, prosperity, peace and partnership (understood as joint initiatives).

The proposed Consensus seeks to systematically integrate the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, with gender, youth, sustainable energy and climate change, investment, mobility and migration being key drivers of this. The new European Consensus on Development and the EU’s Global Strategy aim to respond to these challenges, promote progress and contribute to sustainable and inclusive development for all.

Cooperativas de las Américas, through its Regional Director, Manuel Mariño expressed the rejection of the cooperative movement of the region to the xenophobic and anti-migration position expressed by the new United States administration, a position expressed in the Declaration of Panama, which Was distributed during the FPD.

The third theme that was addressed in regional working groups (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and America) was "Translating politics into action" reflecting on the role of multi-actor partnerships as a means to move forward The global agenda. Multi-actor platforms and alliances are becoming an essential part of how we pursue development goals. The implementation of local, national and regional ODS calls for a more structured dialogue between the different actors as well as the creation of common fronts that can promote the production of public goods and services both at a geographical level (including cities, rural areas And between countries) and at thematic level (from health to environment).

In this discussion space, Cooperatives of the Americas pointed out that cooperatives, as companies based on values and principles to meet the needs of the people, play a fundamental role in reaching the ODS that address issues such as hunger, food security, Gender equality, as well as development, production and sustainable consumption, among others.

In his capacity as Regional Director, Manuel Mariño also mentioned that cooperatives, as an integral part of the private sector in the region, but unlike commercial companies, are characterized by having people at the center of their actions, meeting their needs Basic employment, income, housing and services in general; And where the distribution of wealth among associates and communities is ahead of the interest of profit that motivates mercantile companies.

Read here the full text of the Forum Statement (for now, available in English and French).

This publication has been prepared with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Cooperativa de las Américas, and in no case should it be considered as reflecting the views of the European Union.