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The 2018 General Assembly of the ICA sees milestones for the cooperative movement

23 October 2018

As an appetizer for the V Summit of the Cooperatives that will kick start tomorrow in Buenos Aires, two hundred cooperators from 70 different countries worldwide participated in the 2018 ICA General Assembly yesterday. Ariel Guarco opened his first Assembly as President of the International Cooperative Alliance in his hometown with an engaged room full of cooperators.

A number of motions were approved including, the venue of the next General Assembly 2019 to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, a declaration on decent work and against harassment, and the celebration of a 2020 World Cooperative Congress for the 125th Anniversary of the ICA.

International organisations were invited to animate a round table on how to partner for sustainable development. Vic Van Vuuren, Director of Enterprise Department of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Marco Marzano De Marinis, from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) discussed together with Ariel Guarco and ICA Board member, Martin Lowery, on the future of work and the importance of partnerships among others. “#coops need to be put in the agenda. Currently, the cooperative model is not at the UN level debate and we need the ICA for this”, said Vic van Vuuren

“ We have always defended decent work. We care about decent and lasting working conditions”, highlighted our President.

The promotion of youth cooperatives received a big push. The International Summit of Cooperatives President, Monique Leroux, announce through a video that the Summit is giving $250,000 over 5 years to finance #coopyouth activities. The agreement for this donation was signed by the Chair of the ICA Youth Network, Sebastien Chaillou, the Executive Director of Cooperative and Mutuals Canada, Denyse Guy and the Director General of the ICA, Bruno Roelants.

A declaration on decent work and against harassment was approved by ICA members, being one of the first international organisations to engage for zero tolerance towards any form of harassment (both sexual and moral) and any type of violence in the workplace.

New Board Members were ratified, including Mrs Graciela Fernández as Vice President for the Americas, should she be elected as President for the Americas on 25 October, and Mr Japheth Magomere Vice-President for the Africa Region. Mr Ramon Imperial was warmly honoured by the whole cooperative movement present in Buenos Aires as he is retiring after the Cooperatives of the Americas Assembly that will be held on 25 October.

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