Cooperatives for development

All of us today are acutely aware that our world is changing profoundly, and everywhere. Inequality, economic and financial instability, migrations, crises of democracy, walls being built, the decline of social justice, streets in turmoil, increasing climatic disturbances, etc. are phenomena that have, unfortunately, become the norm.

Mr Ariel Guarco- President of ICA

In order not to lose everything we have, we must find a way out of the dysfunctions of the current prevailing economic model, which is bringing great injustice and dehumanisation with it. We have a pressing duty to act.
For its part, the cooperative movement has kept its pioneering spirit intact. Throughout its history, it has been resolutely forward-looking. Its specific values and principles have required it to evolve, adapt, innovate, and develop. For nearly two centuries, the movement has continued to respond to the needs of ordinary people, engaging with them time and again for cohesion, solidarity, and equality between the populations and territories they live in. For almost two centuries it has worked towards responsible, participative, and active citizenship and has put its ideals and energy at the service of the many, always acting in favour of lasting peace.
Today, the cooperative movement is looking to the future with energy and maturity. Its vision, encompassing economic, social, and environmental dimensions, remains its best formula: namely sustainable development, before the concept was even known.
The commitment the cooperative movement has shown for sustainable development is not a marketing tool, and even less is it a simple incantatory formula: far from it. Around the world thousands of individual cooperative initiatives are constantly springing up, offering new economic models and new development approaches that are respectful of fundamental universal values. On every continent cooperatives are vital, because they respond to the current challenges and needs of citizens by making clear choices in their actions.
Cooperatives are fully aware that sustainable development is a global multidimensional endeavour, and is everybody’s business. In this respect cooperatives’ experiences in the field of development constitute a unique and worthy heritage.
The international “Cooperatives for Development” conference will be held in Kigali, from 14 to 17 October 2019. It will be organised by the International Cooperative Alliance under the auspices of the Government of Rwanda; a country which since 1994 has made spectacular progress in terms of economic growth, and which attaches particular importance to sustainable development issues.
If Africa remains a continent of migration with major demographic, climatic, and political challenges, it is also a continent of the future; deserving of our attention so we can learn from it, it can learn from us and, above all, it can learn from itself. Critical understanding of development issues must be fuelled by our diversity and mutually-enriching relationships.
Education, the role of women in society, the eradication of hunger and poverty, the right to housing, adequate health care, the protection of biodiversity and the environment, new digital technologies, youth development awareness, etc. are – among others – priority areas for action in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All these topics will be tackled from the perspective of thematic and sectoral realities. Our conference will include plenary sessions, sectoral and thematic seminars, and discussion panels, etc. It will be open, of course, to cooperators worldwide, but also to other civil society actors, development agencies, policy makers, institutional partners, government representatives, researchers, and all those who are concerned about development. It will provide a forum for the exchange of views, dialogue, cooperation, and the inspiration of new ideas.
More importantly, our meeting on Rwanda’s soil will show – with humility, pride, and hope – the achievements of the cooperative movement and all its as yet untapped potential in development. This should clearly encourage governments – whether local or national – and international institutions to take full advantage of the experience and expertise that cooperatives make available to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
We hope that this conference will enable us to make our voices heard on the international scene in favour of a stronger, more united, and more open world. We hope to see you there in large numbers!
Ariel Guarco
Following by

Vietnam Cooperative Alliance

Address: Duong Dinh Nghe, Yen Hoa, Cau Giay, Hanoi.

Tel: 080 49711

Fax: (84-4) 8431683 / Email:

Responsible for content: Mr Nguyen Manh Cuong - Vice President of Vietnam Cooperative Alliance

Tel: 080 49251

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