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June 2022
Special Focus: The Cooperative Identity

Cooperatives build a better world

Cooperative friends: we know the slogan that titles this message well. As we well remember, it is in line with what was adopted exactly a decade ago by the United Nations, when it declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. Today, we see that more and more national governments and international organisations value the capacity of our business model to build economic, social and cultural relationships that promote social justice, equity, inclusion and solidarity. That is why we want to reaffirm this message and focus the celebration of the International Day of Cooperatives 2022 on it. This celebration has another very special significance: it is the 100th edition since the ICA established this date, in 1923Read more

Special focus: The Cooperative Identity

In this special dossier of the Coop Insider we look at how the cooperative identity can help cooperatives better illustrate their value for society as resilient, people-centred businesses that build an economy for all and support their local communities

At the World Cooperative Congress over 1,600 cooperators from around the world initiated a conversation about the cooperative identity that has continued under the leadership of the ICA Cooperative Identity Advisory Group, which has also recently launched a preliminary survey to examine whether the cooperative identity is adequately defined and understood. Take part in the survey

Along with Martin Lowery, the Chair of the ICA’s Identity Committee, Alexandra Wilson, Chair of the ICA Cooperative Identity Advisory Group, was recently interviewed by Co-op News. Find out what they had to say about what’s next for the cooperative identity here!

This issue also looks at how by strongly reaffirming their distinct identity, cooperatives can gain further leverage, including commercially. To find out more about this topic we interviewed Iñigo Albizuri Landazabal, Chair of the ICETT working group on the Cooperative Identity as a Competitive Advantage and President of CICOPA, who also manages Global Public Affairs at the Mondragon Corporation. Some cooperatives are using their identity to better engage with their members and provide better member-led products and services, from retailer Midcounties Co-operative in the UK, to Rabobank in the Netherlands, ENOFOCC youth cooperative in Cameroon and European cooperative participative supermarkets inspired by Brooklyn's Park Slope Food Coop. Cooperatives also benefit from working together, as shown by the National Co+op Grocers (NCG) in the USA and the FACTICC tech cooperatives federation in Argentina.

Online event highlights next steps in Deepening the Cooperative Identity

Over 300 participants attended the International Cooperative Alliance’s online discussion on 13 May as part of a global consultation on the cooperative identity. The webinar explored the key takeaways from the 33rd World Cooperative Congress, outlined the next steps for deepening the cooperative identity and shared the International Labour Organisation's standard-setting role were. The report on the Congress outcomes was released.

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World Cooperative Congress sessions available to the general public

The World Cooperative Congress gathered over 1,600 participants online and in-person in Seoul in December 2021 to discuss how to deepen the cooperative identity.

The event featured a total of 24 thematic sessions that are now available to the general public via the Congress website here.

Conclusions on the social and solidarity economy, including cooperatives, approved by the ILO

The ILO Conclusions on Decent Work and the Social and Solidarity Economy, explicitly including cooperatives, have been approved by the Plenary of the International Labour Conference on 10 June in Geneva, after 10 days of discussions (31 May-9 June) in which the ICA took part. You can find the whole text here.

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#CoopIdentity Survey is now available in nine languages

We are happy to share with you that the #CoopIdentity Survey has been translated into six new languages. Aside from the working languages of the ICA - EnglishFrench and Spanish - they are available in the following languages: ChineseItalian, JapaneseKoreanNepali, and Portuguese. Greek and Finnish versions will be available very soon.
2022 ICA Elections

The elections for the ICA Presidency and Board of Directors will take place at the ICA General Assembly on 20 June 2022 in Seville, Spain. Twenty-two candidates are standing for 15 seats on the board while three candidates are standing for the ICA president position. ICA members were invited to meet the Presidential Candidates during a webinar on 31 May. Watch it here!

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2022 International Day of Cooperatives

On 2 July, cooperatives all around the world will celebrate the International Day of Cooperatives (#CoopsDay). This year’s slogan - “Cooperatives Build a Better World” - echoes the theme of the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives. We have prepared an action pack filled with all you need to engage in the cooperative movement's biggest annual celebration.
Cooperatives keep providing humanitarian support to Ukraine
Cooperatives from around the world have stepped in to support everyone affected by the war in Ukraine.

The ICA has also launched a fundraising appeal for Ukraine and is encouraging members to join efforts to mitigate the hardships being inflicted on the Ukrainian people.

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ICA member in Indonesia hosts G20 seminars on cooperatives’ role in achieving the SDGs
As Indonesia is hosting the presidency of the G20 this year, INKUR Federation, a member of the International Cooperative Alliance, is leading the effort to have cooperative voices and priorities heard in the B20 and C20 task forces. INKUR hosted two webinars in May to discuss the role of cooperatives in meeting the SDGs targets.
Read more on the 1st webinar - C20 seminar
Read more on the 2nd webinar - G20 Development Working Group

ICA highlights the role of cooperatives in tackling climate change at Stockholm+50 side event
The ICA co-organised an international meeting convened by the United Nations General Assembly in Stockholm, Sweden, on 2 June.

The Stockholm+50 meeting marked the week of World Environment Day as well as five decades from the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.

SSE actors sign charter of the International Coalition of the Social Solidarity Economy
On 6 May 2022, during the Social Economy, the future of Europe event in Strasbourg, the International Cooperative Alliance, the Global Social Economy Forum, the SSE International Forum, the Association Internationale de la Mutualité and the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation signed the charter for the International Coalition for the Social and Solidarity Economy.
ICA-AP signs partnership agreement with UAE Ministry of Economy to strengthen the cooperative sector

The ICA through its Asia-Pacific Regional Office has signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Economy of the United Arab Emirates to strengthen the country’s cooperative sector. The project falls in line with the UAE government’s aim to diversify the country’s economy. The ministry also sees cooperatives as a means to drive sustainable development. 

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Cooperatives raise their voice at the 60th session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development

Cooperatives were represented at the 60th session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development where the ICA was represented  by ICA President Guarco and submitted a statement highlighting the role of cooperatives in driving an inclusive and resilient recovery from COVID-19. Mr Guarco’s session also featured high-level presentations by global leaders.

Ana Aguirre elected ICA Youth Committee Representative
Following the Youth Presidency elections from 11-16 April, the ICA Youth Committee announced that Ana Aguirre won the elections and therefore she will represent the ICA Youth Committee and Network for the next 4 years.
Xiomara Nuñez de Cespedes, from the Dominican Republic, elected ICA Gender Equality Committee Chair

The ICA’s Gender Equality Committee has elected Xiomara Nuñez de Cespedes from the Dominican Republic as its Chair, at its annual plenary on 14 June. A new Executive Committee with two Vice-Chairs has also been elected. 

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The edition 2021 of the Review of International Cooperation is out!

The final version of the Review of International Cooperation (2021) is now available on the International Cooperative Alliance website. A special edition of the Review of International Cooperation, it focuses on “Bridging Divides: Promoting Economic, Social, and Cultural Democracy”, and seeks to bring members of the global cooperative movement together to stimulate and facilitate the discussion on the strength of its diversity.
Mapping international cooperative development programmes: New online cooperative data platform
The U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC) and the ICA joined forces to create an online global data platform displaying international development projects run by CDOs. This mapping project will demonstrate the extensive reach and scope CDOs have - invoking greater collaboration with development partners.
New publication celebrates the ICA’s history

A new booklet and a dedicated exhibition named “Understanding our history to build a stronger future” have been produced by the ICA to mark its 125th anniversary.

They showcase important milestones from the ICA’s history and were on display at the World Cooperative Congress in Seoul, the Republic of Korea. The Spanish version of the publication has been recently published. 

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Visits of ICA President Ariel Guarco
Over the past few months, ICA President Ariel Guarco has attended several events, both in person and online. In February, he participated in a conference organised jointly by the ICA and the Turkish representation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In May, Mr Guarco was a guest speaker at the 9th Cooperative Ministerial Conference of the Africa Technical Committee organized by ICA Africa in Mombasa, Kenya. The ICA President also participated in the Cooperatives Europe General Assembly, which was held online, and spoke in the webinar organised by our member Angkasa on cooperative identity.
Mongolia’s new cooperative law: Ann Apps speaks to Altantuya Tseden-Ish
Mongolia's parliament adopted a new cooperative law in May 2021. To find out what changes the new law might bring, Ann Apps interviewed Altantuya Tseden-Ish, the Vice-President of the National Association of Mongolian Agricultural Cooperatives. The interview was facilitated by the International Cooperative Alliance’s Cooperative Law Committee (ICA-CLC).
Protecting mutual assets: Ann Apps interviews Peter Hunt from UK’s Mutuo

Members of Liverpool Victoria, which trades as LV=, have rejected a £530million takeover by US private equity firm Bain Capital. To find out more about the attempt to demutualise the business, Ann Apps interviewed Peter Hunt, Managing Partner at Mutuo, a British advocacy organisation and think tank that advocates for mutuals and cooperatives. 
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