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The V Summit of the Cooperatives of the Americas has concluded

27 October 2018

From October 23 through the 26, more than 1,500 cooperative members from all over the world gathered in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina to enjoy an extensive program of activities created and carried out during the four days of the most important continental event of the year.

The Sancor Seguros National Theater, which was filled with members from different cooperatives from more than 50 countries, was the setting for the closing ceremony of the V Cooperative Summit of the Americas. The event was held at noon on October 26, and it was organized by the Cooperatives of the Americas and the Cooperative Confederation of the Argentine Republic (COOPERAR).

Ariel Guarco, president of the International Cooperative Alliance, gave a conference referring to the challenges now facing humanity to maintain the planet habitable which is consumed without an apparent solution. He pointed out how there is a challenge to feed millions of human beings who day after day have less possibilities of earning a living and maintaining peace and harmony, all while political proposals based on individual solutions, selfishness and exclusion triumph all over the world. "The road to international integration is one of cooperation and collaboration, not the building of walls that separate us," he said before the audience.

Furthermore, the team of executives of Cooperatives of the Americas, elected yesterday during the Administrative Council Assembly, was presented, highlighting the election of the first woman ever as President of the Council. Graciela Fernández is the head of the Uruguayan Confederation of Cooperative Entities (Cudecoop).

Fernández, and the outgoing president of Cooperatives of the Americas, Ramón Imperial, read the Declaration of the V Cooperative Summit of the Americas. This document invites the construction of three commitments that enhance the contribution of the cooperative movement in this time of global challenges: Cooperative Commitment towards the Defense of the Planet; Cooperative Commitment towards Financial Inclusion and Democratization; Commitment towards Cooperative Integration contributing to the "Global Alliance for Sustainable Development" (ODS No. 17).

"I believe this has summed up the great work you have done. We insist, without a doubt, that this should be the consensus, the work, the summary, the dialogue of all the workshops that came from the National Meetings and the work done by all of you. I commend you all for the material contributed, and keep in mind that this will be the commitment of the Directive Council of Cooperatives of the Americas" said Fernandez, who closed her speech stating: "To defend the planet let’s change, by means of the cooperative movement, how we all produce and consume, in order to achieve a new global economy built from within the territories and through solidarity, with an integrated cooperative movement at the service of sustainable development. This is what the Council will work for and anyone who does not comply will not work with us anymore."

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