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Participation of Cooperatives of the Americas in the meeting of the World Board of the International Cooperative Alliance

25 April 2019

The World Board meeting of the International Cooperative Alliance was held in Matera, Italy, the Cultural Capital of Europe for 2019 and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

Graciela Fernández, President of Cooperatives of the Americas, intervened last March at the Board meeting of the International Cooperative Alliance, as World Vice President.

The debut of the new management of Cooperatives of the Americas takes place at a crucial moment of the International Cooperative Alliance that is currently engaged in the development of a new long-range strategic plan, with a view to a new Cooperative Decade (2020 - 2030). For its part, in a synergistic way, the continental organization is focused on the regional planning for its administration period (2019 - 2022) process that has been developing with excellent participation of the associated cooperatives, contributing to the enrichment of the continental planning and global.

President Fernández intervened repeatedly, highlighting in particular the importance of strengthening actions and tools for the political advocacy of cooperatives at all levels (from local to global), towards National Governments, Intergovernmental Organizations such as the European Union , as well as other international organizations of the civil society itself, with whom strategic alliances could be established by 2030.

In this sense Fernandez proposed to support the reactivation of COPAC, the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (formed by the International Cooperative Alliance, FAO, ILO ), organism that regulates the international day of cooperatives and coordinates the joint action of entities that comprise it, proposing that Cooperatives of the Americas collaborate in the revitalization of this Committee, working together with the Global Office of the International Cooperative Alliance.

Graciela Fernández also highlighted the results achieved of the Program financed by the European Union and implemented by the four regions of the International Cooperative Alliance, highlighting the good performance achieved by Cooperatives of the Americas, demonstrating good practices such as the constitution of the Platform of Cooperatives of the Americas for Development, created last October, the approaches and dialogues established with the Delegations of the European Union in the American continent, as well as the different initiatives of studies and elaboration of projects of the associated countries.

During the session of the Board, the World President, Ariel Guarco led important discussions on the development strategies of the sector and the International Cooperative Alliance. For her part, María Eugenia Pérez Zea (Colombia), President of the World Committee on Gender Equality, intervened on several occasions highlighting the importance of strengthening gender equity and the participation of young people as a transversal axis of any policy of the World Alliance ; Onofre Cezário De Souza Filho (Brazil) raised the importance of associates assuming a greater commitment to the SDG-SDG project; Martin Lowery (United States) and Alexandra Wilson (Canada) intervened on several occasions inviting them to work collectively and deepen cooperation.

The first ICETT meeting was also held, the think tank of the International Cooperative Alliance former by large groups and large cooperatives, which have already begun to define their plan of action and contribution to the global agenda, to which they have adhered since the Cooperativa La Cruz Azul de México (with the participation of Apolinar Ortiz and Jorge Arteaga) and the Sancor Seguros Group of Argentina.

The ICA global planning process will continue at the next session of the Board in Geneva, together with a seminar within the framework of the 100th anniversary of the ILO, in view of its final definition in the General Assembly of Kigali, Rwanda, in October of this year.

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