The Cooperatives of the Americas Development Platform meets in San José de Costa Rica for the first time after its creation
The Cooperatives of the Americas Development Platform – CADP was created in October 2018 during the V Summit of Cooperatives of the Americas in Argentina as an operational instrument and open space of work and articulation between the cooperative organizations of the Americas and the main actors of International cooperation and sustainable development worldwide. It currently has 9 members from 7 different countries in Latin America (Cooperar – Argentina, Confecoop and Ascoop Colombia, Conacoop and Infocoop – Costa Rica, Fedecaces – El Salvador, Confecoop – Guatemala, Conpacoop – Paraguay and Cudecoop – Uruguay) as well as 2 Permanent Guests from the United States (NCBA-Clusa) and Canada (Cooperatives and Mutual Canada) and 3 Permanent Observers from Germany (DGRV), Spain (Andalusian School of Social Economy Foundation) and Sweden (We Effect). The platform was created in the framework of the Program ICA – European Union Coops4dev 🌎.
Since October 2018, an action plan of the CADP has been implemented that includes connecting internally between the institutions present, connecting externally with agencies and other international cooperation organizations, developing member capacities and reporting on the progress of the CADP.
During the XXI Conference of Cooperatives of the Americas in November 2019, representatives of the organizations that make up the CADP met for the first time with the objective to strengthen the CADP through cooperation among its members, the exchange of experiences in international cooperative development and identification of opportunities for cooperative organizations in this field. The members declared their interest and openness of exchanging information on international cooperation projects affirming in this way the cooperative principles 5 and 6. The organizations will provide fact sheets of international cooperation projects that they are implementing or already executed, which will be fed into a project bank that will be launched virtually in February 2020 by Cooperatives of the Americas on a dedicated sub-page of its new website.
During the meeting Luisa Fernanda Gallo Herrán Director of the ICA-EU Program #coops4dev in Cooperatives of the Americas presented a report on the progress of the Platform during its first year of existence. Among the most relevant achievement were several trainings given or organized by Cooperatives of the Americas to the Group of National Project Officers (GONP), a technical team that integrates the CADP, the development of several proposals to international donors, which resulted in a grant contrato for an international cooperation project in Costa Rica formulated in the framework of the CADP, in addition, the participation of 4 representatives of the Regional Youth Committee in the Ibero-American Forum of Young Leaders of the Social Economy organized by Fundación Escuela Andaluza de Economía Social, one of the Permanent Observers of the Platform and the promotion of the platform to develop various advocacy actions regarding different international organizations, such as the European Union delegations in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Paraguay , Peru and Uruguay.
“Intercooperative cooperation and the strengthening of the Latin American cooperative sector is an objective of our work in the region,” said the Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Matthias Arzbach, of DGRV, the German third tier cooperative organization, when he presented the program of said organization in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, the permanent guests and observers of the Platform presented their work and projects in international cooperative development in the region: NCBA-Clusa of the United States of America, Cooperatives and Mutuals (CMC) of Canada, the Andalusian Foundation School of Social Economy of Spain and We effect from Sweden. “Knowing the work of these cooperative organizations in the region is the starting point of identifying topics of common interest and undertaking intercooperative projects,” said Jonathan Brenes, National Project Officer for CONACOOP, Costa Rica on the Platform.
Another important element of international cooperation and the one that the CADP wants to focus on is South-South cooperation. To develop this theme João Marcos Silva of OCB System of Brazil, the apex organization of Brazilian cooperatives, presented the work implemented by this organization in cooperative development and in particular in African countries.
The first meeting of the Cooperatives of the Americas Development Platform – CADP culminated with the signing of an addendum to the act of constitution of the Platform presented by the President of Cooperatives of the Americas Graciela Fernandez which reaffirms the commitment of the members of the Platform in terms of positioning the cooperative model in the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations and continuing to promote international cooperative development through synergies, cooperation projects and joint advocacy actions in international organizations.