Cooperatives: sustainable development with social equity

May 28 to June 1st 2012

ICA-Americas as the major organization in cooperative integration for the Americas, with the support of the ICA organization members in Panama: Consejo Nacional de Cooperativas – CONALCOOP and the Instituto Panameño Autónomo Cooperativo – IPACOOP, have the pleasure to invite you to the II Cooperative Summit of the Americas entitled “Sustainable Development with Social Equity in the Cooperative Model”.

The II Cooperative Summit aims to strengthen the convergence processes, unity and cooperative articulation so as to reach agreements and resolutions to be included in a Final Declaration of member organizations. This document is intended to help establish a more solid and equitable sustainable development that will serve as a reference framework for the implementation of concrete actions.

The I Cooperative Summit 2009 held in Mexico, was proof of the potential and the willingness of the cooperative movement in the Americas, to take actions in establishing a more solid social development and sustainable system. There is a great interest to achieve the guidelines stated in the Guadalajara Declaration in order to face the present challenges in the context of global crisis.

Cooperatives have clearly demonstrated that they are key actors to redefine the sustainable development models prioritizing social equity. The cooperative formula is seen as a solution that is not only durable but contemporary, resilient and relevant, and therefore significant in establishing a more solid economic development through their ethic economy, defense of the collective interest and the democratization of the entrepreneurial sector. The International Year of Cooperatives 2012 is a good time for a redefinition of our function as a regional body towards a more engaging and integrating approach. That’s why this event will be more than a meeting point for cooperative members as their major topics are being previously analyzed in the different countries and sectors taking into account their needs and concerns..

During the Summit the analysis and discussion will be focused on four thematic areas:The cooperative identity and business management(cooperative identity as a distinctive factor regarding traditional capital enterprises; the cooperative brand as added value to cooperative business management; internationalization of cooperatives while maintaining their identity; corporate business management in cooperative enterprises),Development Paradigms and Social Equity(current development paradigms and global crisis; new paradigm: development with social equity; role of cooperatives within the new development paradigm),Social and Environmental Responsibility(environmental responsibility making the cooperative difference; cooperative social responsibility and cooperative social audit; environmental eco-efficiency as an added value to cooperative business management; environmental and social ethics in the cooperative brand), and Advocacy and Public Policies(relationship of cooperatives with the State and cooperative autonomy; cooperatives and public policies; cooperative participation in social dialogue to influence public policies).

This event will also include other diverse academic activities, such as Meetings and Forum as a way to enrich the discussing of key challenges and solutions that will promote the cooperative development, performance and a sustainable model on the political stage. The Final Declaration will serve as a reference framework for the implementation of actions oriented to strengthen the cooperative sector of the continent. We are confident that the cooperative model by itself and the implementation of this statement will contribute to face the challenges of the current situation.

 press release

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