Tag: advocacy

IFAD delegation visits cooperatives in Emilia-Romagna: “Your model helps developing countries”.

The cooperative model represents an opportunity to boost the economies of developing countries. This became clear thanks to yesterday’s visit to some cooperatives in Emilia-Romagna by a delegation of IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), the specialized agency of the UN in charge of fighting poverty in rural areas of developing countries, with the participation of Adriana Apollonio, Deputy Head of Representation of the Italian Embassy at the Roman pole of UN Agencies. The initiative was organized by Confcooperative and Coopermondo to promote international cooperation projects in favour of disadvantaged populations.
“I was very impressed by the wide range of cooperatives in Emilia-Romagna that are part of Confcooperative – said Donal Brown, associate vice-president IFAD, who led the delegation – The International Fund for Agricultural Development, based in Rome, works to help poor farmers in developing countries and does so in conjunction with cooperatives, among others. Starting with this visit, I see many opportunities for a joint effort by IFAD and Confcooperative to support poor communities in developing countries”.
Starting from the Corte d’Aibo cooperative in Monteveglio, on the hills of Bologna, one of the first in the area to embrace organic farming thirty years ago and which now manages a wine farm and a holiday farm, the delegation moved to the Modena area, where they had the chance to get to know the production of some of the best products from Emilia-Romagna known throughout the world. In particular, the Parmigiano Reggiano produced by the 4 Madonne dairy cooperative of Lesignana and the traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena made by a member of the cooperative La Tradizione in their garret in Nonantola. After a lunch with typical products at the Locanda degli Smeraldi in Bentivoglio (Bo) run by the social cooperative Anima, which employs disabled children, the delegation moved to the Serre dei Giardini Margherita in Bologna to meet the Kilowatt cooperative (an innovative start-up that regenerated a public space by opening a restaurant, educational services, co-working and promoting events) and Local to You, an online platform for buying fruit and vegetables that promotes organic and local agriculture in partnership with other social cooperatives.
“It was a very interesting visit – said the president of Confcooperative Fedagripesca Giorgio Mercuri – because it allowed us to show IFAD our cooperative system, made of small producers who, by joining together, are able to enhance their production at an international level and to restore dignity even to the weakest links in the agricultural chain”.
“Emilia-Romagna is the cradle of the cooperative movement that has developed here more than anywhere else – added Carlo Piccinini, president of Confcooperative Fedagripesca Emilia-Romagna – so we are very happy if our business model that focuses on producer members becomes a source of inspiration for developing countries”.
Coopermondo, the NGO of Confcooperative, promotes the cooperative model at an international level in the most vulnerable areas and in 2016 signed a letter of intent with IFAD. “Visits like the one carried out in Emilia-Romagna – noted Camilla Carabini, director of Coopermondo – are very important because they increase the awareness of international institutions about the effectiveness of the cooperative model, which can find fertile ground even in socio-economic contexts different from the Italian one, adapting to the peculiarities of individual states but without changing the essential values such as active and democratic participation of members, redistribution of wealth and prosperity generation for the entire community”.

WomeNPowerment: the cooperative way to gender equality in Italy and in the world

Women cooperating in Italy and in the world; women who, in developing countries, are gathering together in order to overcome injustice and inequalities and to create new opportunities for themselves and their communities. This is the file rouge inspiring “WomeNpowerment in Coops – Italian cooperative experiences toward the achievement of gender equality in the world“, an editorial project written by Coopermondo (Confcooperative’s[1] NGO) and Confcooperative’s Commission of Women Cooperative Managers. In the book, Italian and international co-operative stories show the added value of co-operation for the achievement of gender equality. Goal n. 5 of the SDGs is Confcooperative, which shows a female employment rate that exceeds 61% of the employed (528,000) of its enterprises (19,000), where female governance stands at 26% (10% more than to other business models).
The handbook has been launched in occasion of International Women Day 2018, during an international conference who counted on the presence of Maurizio Gardini, President of Confcooperative, Bianca Maria Pomeranzi, senior expert in gender issue from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Simel Esim, Director of Cooperative Unit, ILO, United Nations together with many cooperators’ women experts in different fields.
“In developing countries, cooperatives enterprises are and will increasingly be committed to transferring know-how to trigger local development and to make women and men protagonists in their own communities. Also, in Italy, co-operatives are one of the very few tools for social mobility for women and youth. In our members cooperatives – says Maurizio Gardini, president of Confcooperative – the female employment rate is equal to 61%. In the implementation of development projects, in low-income countries, we promote a model that put the  social rescue before the economic value, in order to guarantee the dignity of one person. In this common thread there is all the essence of co-operation, the real one, which includes, attentiveness to the needs of the territory and makes the economy grow together with people”.
“Women, especially in contexts of poverty, are those who represent the majority of the workforce, the most reliable in credit refunds, women are those that can play a key role in the processes of inclusion and integration in local territories. The WomeNpowerment project – adds Claudia Fiaschi, Confcooperative’s and Coopermondo’s Vice-President – is a space for discussion between both women and men cooperators to find common solutions to individual problems. Both in Italy and developing countries, many women faces challenges and abuses; a co-operative enterprise in many cases represent the space where they found economic independence and solidarity within a network of women, fundamental for their professional and personal empowerment”.
«Confcooperative – says Anna Manca, Coordinator of the Commission for Women Co-operative Managers, Confcooperative – broadens the focus to gender policies also in relation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The full affirmation of a model of fair and sustainable development cannot be separated from a more active and conscious role of women on which the cooperative world has shown that it can measure itself with good results. Even if we are strongly committed to promoting equality in political, economic and decision-making processes, unfortunately there are still too many women who do not have access to education, medical care and decent work. Reaching gender equality and promoting the empowerment of girls and women, as foreseen by Agenda 2030, is not only a fundamental human right, but the necessary condition for a model of development that everyone will benefit from».
MOZAMBIQUE, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, BRAZIL, ITALY: COOPERATIVE STORIES OF GENDER EQUALITY
Africa Hand Project (Mozambique). The goal of the project is to reduce hunger and poverty through the development of a sustainable agriculture and the dairy industry in Mozambique, by promoting a cooperative supply chain that can improve the nutritional education of the population and make women protagonists. In Mozambique, in fact, almost half of the population suffers from chronic malnutrition that begins already during pregnancy and limits development in the early years of life. Therefore, the project also promote the supply of milk and dairy products to pregnant women and children under five years of age, integrating their diet with products, the result of local breeding, with a high nutritional profile and able to make the difference.
AGRICOOP Mujer (Colombia). Creating bonds of trust between women from five different ethnic groups, in a social context strained by years of guerrilla warfare and drug trafficking, in order to engage them and promote a safe and economic independence. This is AGRICOOP, a process of empowerment of over 100 women who were able to overcome mutual distrust. Coopermondo – Confcooperative has followed their training. Some of them joined a weavers’ cooperative to sell their products. Others want to be part of this chain and become sheep breeders to ensure the supply of wool for the creation of artifacts. Fundamental for the development of the community is to have created an area of knowledge and sharing.
Microfinanza Campesina (Ecuador). As part of the wider Microfinanza Campesina project in Ecuador, which sees the Federation of Credit Cooperative Banks (Federcasse – BCC) engaged since 2002 alongside two Ecuadorian entities (banCODESARROLLO and FEPP) for the development and strengthening of popular finance, attention is dedicated to women. The subsidized loans of Federcasse have allowed banCODESARROLLO, over time, to field more than 45 million dollars to provide loans to about 12,000 Ecuadorian women, in many cases grouped into cooperatives. When this money is returned, they have played an important role for these women and their families. Those loans have turned into land, home, animals, seeds, tools. They have become dignity, freedom, well-being, fairness.
Juntos contra a Exclusão Social (Brazil). The project aims to promote social and economic integration and to improve the living conditions and social and economic integration of women and young people of 110 families in the cities of Fortaleza and Recife who live in extreme fragile conditions. The project also aims to the empowerment and professional training of 120 women and youth, helping them to create a path of self-entrepreneurship even in a cooperative way. Both in Fortaleza and in Recife, the women involved in the project have a very low schooling rate (41.5) and belong to discriminated ethnic groups (black and mestizo). Nine out of ten women have one to four children, four out of ten are divorced and almost seven out of ten have a very low paid job. In Brazil, in order to obtain a pension from the State, 49 years of contributions are required, and many people will not be able to benefit from it in the future. Hence, the importance of offering women who have started an individual activity, the opportunity to join a cooperative.
The Cantina Clavesana (Piemonte, Italy). Founded in April 27, 1959 from 32 winemakers to transform the grapes conferred by the 300 members with a total production of 30,000 hectoliters of wine and a vineyard area of 450 hectares all certified with the Denomination of Controlled Origin D.O.C. and Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin D.O.C.G. The female-run winery has activated 4.0 agriculture projects to monitor the vineyards using drones and satellites to reduce costs and environmental impact. Among the best practices is that of holiday planning that takes place according to the needs of women workers: 60% of working women ask for flexibility to respond to needs such as assisting children or the elderly, as well as permits for visits and medical treatment. For work at the weekend, between workers, a structured turnaround and a compensation of hours and days are activated.
Open Space “Milano 6 L’Altro” (Milan, Italy). A path of empowerment that helps women to get back to work by designing new services for the community. The project is characterized by making women active and overcoming the challenges of reconciliation. Motherhood and work life are the starting point. One in four women leaves the world of work after having their first child. This project identifies solutions to help families to find quality, economic and shared answers such as condominiums and baby-sitting services. The method for this process is that of design thinking. There are many women involved in the path and each carrying a different story with her: different paths of life; Italian women, as well as foreigners who have suffered from immigration stories and who had to start over again in Italy. In common they all have the desire to be protagonists of their own lives.
The San Leopoldo cooperative (Grosseto, Italy). Established in 1998 for fishing, aquaculture and related activities, the cooperative aims at creating job opportunities for its members. The members of the cooperative are in possession of a degree in Biology, Agricultural Sciences and Economics, as well as qualifications for professional fishing and underwater activities. The diversification of skills ensures professionalism in various sectors of activity. To date, the cooperative is active in various fields: 1) professional fishing and related activities (fishing tourism); 2) aquaculture; 3) technical assistance for funding applications to fishermen and fish farmers; 4) scientific research; 5) project design (Interreg, EASME, FEAMP …); 6) environment: particular attention is given to environmental issues through specific sector projects, such as the repopulation of river courses with eels.
 
Download the handbook here http://www.coopermondo.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/WomeNpowerment_InCoops-ENG.pdf
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[1] Confcooperative is the Italian Confederation of Cooperatives, representing more than 18.000 co-operatives,

Coopermondo and the #coops4dev team in Kuala Lumpur

Coopermondo, in the persons of Director Danilo Salerno and Communications & Visibility Manager Camilla Carabini, participated at the International Co-operative Alliance’s Global Conference and General Assembly held in Kuala Lumpur from 14 to 17 November in Malaysia, in order to follow the works of the #coops4dev team.
Among the many events, the International Co-operative Development Platform celebrated its first meeting and several publications on international co-operative development were launched. Moreover, co-operatives have been mentioned, during a dedicated session on partnerships, as the main development actor to partner with from representative of UN Agencies, EU Delegations, Trade Unions and other Civil Society Organizations.
 
International Co-operative Development Platform
The Cooperatives Europe Development Platform (CEDP), the expert group composed by 10 European organizations engaged in international cooperative development, has gone global. In fact the group has enlarged into the International Co-operative Development Platform (ICDP), a network of different organizations working in international development in different regions (Americas, Asia, Europe and Asia).
Coopermondo has been one of the supporter and promoter of this Platform therefore it has been a great success to finally see it happening (check the FB live on this).
During the Global Conference, the ICDP held its first meeting to discuss an action plan based on the 9 recommendations drafted at the Platform’s launch in the International Summit of Co-operatives. During the world café session, high representatives from the different organizations concretized the recommendations to kick-off and further develop the action plan for 2018.
 
 
New publications on international co-operative development
During the Global Conference, the Cooperatives Europe Development Platform (CEDP) launched its report “Good practices in international cooperative development: Why creating a knowledge sharing culture is key for international cooperative development work” intended to encourage partnerships between CEDP members and to enable external actors to better understand the advantages of international co-operative development as a successful development approach.
Moreover, the ICA-EU partnership‘s angle on partnership collaboration has been emphasized in the launch of the new publication “A matter of principle: co-operatives in development“, presented at the Global Conference. The publication is the result a joint effort between the global and the regional offices of the ICA to showcase success stories of co-operative development that highlight the inherent synergy between co-operative values and sustainable development for all.
 
 
Partnership for development
During the #coops4dev session entitled “Building Partnerships for the Future We Want” on the 15th on November, which received over 200 participants, the importance of alternative economic models for development that can put human and economic growth as the first priority in their approach towards development has been highlighted. High-level representatives of the European Union, International Labor Organization, CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness, International Trade Union Confederation and United Cities of Local Authorities stressed the importance of partnerships with co-operatives for international development.
 
Ariel Guarco, new ICA President
Coopermondo sends his best congratulations to Ariel Guarco who has been elected president of the International Co-operative Alliance. Mr Guarco is president of Cooperar, the Co-operative Confederation of Argentina, and has always been close to Coopermondo’s activities in Colombia and Argentina.
Mr Guarco said that his priorities at the Alliance will be to strengthen the interactions between its regional and sectoral organisations, as well as consolidating youth and gender spaces. He also wants to improve the quality and quantity of information given to members on income, balance sheets, and projects – and in doing so, empower organisations when it comes to decision-making.
Cooperatives are enterprises that have a double function, on the one hand they must be economically viable, compete in the market and do it as good or better than enterprises that seek profitability as the ultimate goal. And on the other hand, they need to be socially responsible, helping to improve the quality of life of our members and faithful to our principle of commitment to the community, to society as a whole”, said Mr Guarco. You can access the full speech of the President of the Alliance here
 
 
World Cooperative Monitor
The International Co-operative Alliance and Euricse, the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, published its sixth annual World Co-operative Monitor. The publication reports on the world’s largest co-operative and mutual organisations, providing a ranking of the Top 300 and sectorial analysis based on 2015 financial data. The 2017 World Co-operative Monitor collected data for 2,379 organisations from 8 sectors of activity, 1,436 of which had a turnover of more than USD100m. The Top 300 co-operatives and mutuals report a total turnover of 2.16 billions.
The world’s top 300 co-operatives operate in different sectors: insurance (41%), agriculture (30%), wholesale and retail trade (19%), banking and financial services (6%), industry and utilities (1%), health, education and social care (1%) and other services (1%).
 
All the initiatives of #coops4dev have been trending through all social media platforms. If you want to join the conversation on international co-operative development, follow the hashtag #coops4dev on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates on our activities.

Coopermondo: 10 years of cooperation among cooperatives

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“We do what we are good at: cooperating in the fields of agriculture, credit, welfare, responsible tourism and to help eliminating inequalities in the world. This is the most effective demonstration of the sixth co-operative principle “cooperation among co-operatives” that goes behind every boundary”. Maurizio Gardini, President of Confcooperative, opens the event dedicated to the celebration of the 10 years of international cooperative development done by Coopermondo, the NGO created by Confcooperative and Federcasse in 2007. “We are proud to be among the founders of this organization. Together we work with in Togo to promote the cooperative movement and strengthen financial inclusion”, says Augusto Dell’Erba, President of Federcasse (apex organization for credit cooperatives).
With 10 international cooperation projects, Coopermondo has contributed to the creation of 152 new cooperative enterprises in Africa and Latin America, training more than 1,143 technicians in agriculture, fisheries and sustainable tourism, benefiting directly and indirectly over 25,000 people. The countries where Coopermondo works – or worked – are: Togo, Colombia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Benin, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal.
Many personalities wanted to accompany Coopermondo during its celebrations. Starting with Colombia’s ambassador to Italy, Juan Mesa Zuleta, who praised Coopermondo’s alliance with the SENA because “together, we are building peace”. The Minister of Plenipotentiary Gianluca Grandi, of the Directorate General for Development Cooperation – DGCS and Dr. Valentina Muiesan, the First Secretary of the Italian Embassy in the agencies of the Roman pole of the United Nations, were also present.
“In 10 years Coopermondo has grown a lot. It is now an NGO recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it plays an important role in the Italian cooperation system. The political position he has acquired is already a demonstration of the impact of his work”, says Coopermondo’s President, Francesco Carri.
“We promote the Italian cooperative model in the world as an excellency that many look with admiration,” explains Vice-President Claudia Fiaschi. “We bring our  co-operative experienced to the territories, we create empathy with people and only through an honest exchange of experiences and knowledge we can create a real change“.
The word has then been given to those who have been on the field: Alessandra Nasti, CIRSPE biologist who accompanied trout producers and fishermen in Colombia to improve their productions; Paola Vanzetti of Gestcooper, Confcooperative Piemonte, who accompanied the rice cooperatives in Cameroon and Giovanni Pausini, a cooperator from Emilia-Romagna, who has been following agricultural producers in Togo and Colombia for many years.
The exhibition “Horizons, Thoughts, Colors – Faces of Co-operation” has been launched during the event. It is composed by 9 photos that illustrates Coopermondo’s commitment in contributing to United Nations 2030 Agenda  and at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Each image is associated with an SDG that shows how Coopermondo contribute to alleviating poverty, defeating hunger in the world, promoting decent work and quality education, developing a gender approach, promoting the pacification of war-torn territories and strengthening Global partnerships.
“All this is possible thanks to the training and technical assistance that our cooperators always bring to our partner countries. According to the beneficiaries we work with, they are the ones making the difference. The key to Coopermondo’s success is to provide practical and concrete answers to territories’ needs and provide market access for thousands of producers in developing countries: we mix empathy and solidarity with professionalism and technical experience”, concludes Coopermondo’s Director Danilo Salerno.
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Coopermondo for sustainable development at Coops Europe’s GA

Coopermondo’s Director, Danilo Salerno, illustrated Coopermondo and its members experience during the international development cooperation workshop that took place this morning at Cooperatives Europe General Assembly, where yesterday the new president Jean Luis Bancel has been elected.
The workshop, coordinated by Dame Pauline Green, form President of the International Cooperative Alliance, focused on Cooperatives Europe’s work on international cooperation through its  group formed by 10 partner organizations dedicated to this sector – Cooperatives Europe Development Platform CEDP
Coopermondo’s work has been presented through its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals in the AGRICOOP project in Colombia where the NGO of Confcooperative is active in 5 different regions to strengthen and promote solidarity and cooperative economy, working with indigenous peoples and women groups, in partnership with the Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje SENA.
Moreover Salerno valorized the “WomeNpowerment in Coops” project, a working group that Coopermondo set up with the Commission of Women Manegers of Confcooperative in order to form a group of Italian cooperators expert on gender issues in development.
“The three case studies presented this morning has been the most impressive ones I had recently the chance to listen to. Danilo Salerno illustrated the Colombia project and how Coopermondo is contributing in building social cohesion in a post-conflict situation. How? By building trust, that is at the basis of cooperatives, in areas where people used to fight one against the other or were engaged in narcotraffic activities”, Dame Pauline Green declared.
The slides of Director Salerno’s presentation can be downloaded: Coopermondo_Malta_28042017
 
The video “From illicit crops to acquacolture cooperatives” that has been recorded in Cauca with some trouts producers Coopermondo works with.

Global Cooperative Development Platform launched at the International Summit of Co-operatives

Promoting the cooperative business model at international level and in the most difficult contexts in order to contribute to a more sustainable development of the planet. With this goal on October 10th the “Global Cooperative Development Platform GCDP” was launched during one of the parallel activities of the International Summit of Cooperatives, that is taking place in Quebec City from 11 to 14 November with over 3,000 representatives from all over the world. “Cooperatives and Mutuals in international development – How can we do more and better together” was the event under which took place the formalization of the new platform: Coopermondo-Confcooperative, with the presence of the Director, Danilo Salerno, participated to the event.
The side event was organized by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the Overseas Cooperative Development Council United States (OCDC) as part of the Partnership agreement signed between the ICA and the EU (FPA).
The event, facilitated by former ICA President Dame Pauline Green, brought together experts cooperators worldwide to share results, identifying lines of action, and facilitate collaboration to explore future partnerships within the international development.
The creation, five years ago, of the CEDP (the network of organizations dedicated to international cooperation of Cooperatives Europe) and the recognition of his work towards the EU institutions, have been crucial to the establishment of the global network. While the CEDP was created for the European region, and Coopermondo is one of 10 member organizations, the GCDP will enable the European network to connect to other regional networks with the aim of working together globally.
Dame Pauline Green said: “A Global Co-operative Development Platform does not have the aim to become a development agency, but to strengthen collaboration between co-operative development organisations and raise visibility and knowledge about the role co-operatives play in international development”.
“Yesterday was a crucial day for the future of cooperatives engaged in development cooperation. Coopermondo launched the proposal for a global network many years ago, during the meetings of the CEDP in Brussels and at international conferences in which we participated in the last five years”, said Director Danilo Salerno.
Cooperation amongst cooperatives, the 6th cooperative principle, refers to all this, and if applied in development cooperation, it is clear that we have a competitive advantage over other actors of development cooperation. We potentially have partners in all African, Asian and Latin American countries: cooperative organizations that share our principles and models, that want to develop partnership for sharing knowledge and innovative ways of doing business.
Coopermondo is a key actor within the process that will lead to the establishment of the Global Platform: we could share skills and experiences of our projects and our partners, in order to make them grow, create new funding opportunities, change the development model that has produced inequalities and market distortions as mentioned by the Nobel Prize Joseph Stiglitz in his masterful Conference here at the Summit yesterday morning”.

Sustainable Development Goals: Coopermondo’s Pledge is the most relevant according to the ICA

Coopermondo’s commitment to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, has been recognized as the most relevant according to the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).
The contest, launched on the new website www.coopsfor2030.coop during the International Day of Cooperatives, aims at encouraging ICA member organizations to publicly pledge on how they plan to contribute to the achieving one of the 17 sustainable development goals.
As far as it is concerned, Coopermondo committed to create, by 2020, at least 10 new cooperative enterprises run by young people, women or indigenous communities in developing countries, with the aim of helping eradicating poverty in the world (SDG No. 1) by promoting a cooperative economy based on economic democracy, decent work (SDG n ° 8) and equal opportunities for both men and women (SDG n ° 5).
In light of this recognition, Coopermondo was invited to participate in the International Summit of Cooperatives, the world’s leading event for enterprise development in the cooperative community, organized by Des Jardins Group and by the ICA and which will be held from 10 to 13 October 2016 in Quebec City, Canada.
As international cooperation and sustainable development goals are on the agenda, Coopermondo will participate to the summit. On October 10 there will be a side-event organized by the CEDP, the group of Cooperatives Europe dedicated to international development cooperation (of which Coopermondo is a member): along with Dame Pauline Green policies and strategies to strengthen partnerships between cooperatives around the world with the aim of promoting collaborative economy in the most difficult contexts will be discussed. It will also be an opportunity to show the experiences of international cooperation of its members.
In addition, the intensive program of the days that follow will address many issues dear to Coopermondo: food security, gender issues and financial inclusion, amongst the others. This will be an important opportunity to reinforce partnerships, share experiences, learn new methodologies and discuss the impact that cooperatives have in the most difficult contexts.

Cooperatives at the UN – HLPF for Sustainable Development Goals

PIn New York, from 11th to 20th July, meets the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the United Nations Platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Forum brings together senior political officials and global stakeholders with the aim of promoting sustainable development by providing policy guidance and recommendations.
At a side event, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) presented the first results of www.coopsfor2030.coop platform created to engage the cooperatives to the sustainable development goals. The global campaign #coopsfor2030 unites and involves cooperatives in the implementation process of the SDGs. Coopermondo has publicly committed to “contribute to eradicating poverty by providing cooperative training and technical assistance in developing countries” in order to “create at least 10 new cooperatives managed by women, youth and indigenous people by 2020“. So far on the platform almost 100 pledges have been received.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, on the occasion of the International Day of Cooperatives, 2nd July 2016, has publicly acknowledged the importance of the cooperative experience for the achievement of the sustainable development goals: “I urge Governments to create an enabling environment for co- operatives to thrive and grow. Let us harness the power of co-operatives to achieve the SDGs and create a world of dignity and opportunity for all.”
The President of the ICA, Monique F. Leroux said: “We are grateful for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s support. Today is the day to commit to being a part of a different future than the one where we are otherwise headed. Ensuring that no one is left behind and contributing to eradicating poverty, co-operatives are unique in that they combine economic success with democratic governance and concern for community. This makes co-ops inherently sustainable businesses – significant social and economic actors. Co-ops generate more than 2.6 trillion USD in annual revenues and create over 250 million jobs.”
This fall, from 11 to 13 October 2016, the most important event for the development of the cooperative business, the International Summit of Cooperatives, will take place in Canada and will bring together leaders, employees, agencies and experts from around the world for a dialogue on the resolution of global problems and to support sustainable development goals (to learn more visit www.summit.coop).
 

Business and Human Rights, the EU Council Conclusions

The EU Council issued, on 20 June 2016, the conclusions on “Business and human rights” on the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the main reference framework for the international community.
The Council reaffirmed the EU’s strong and active commitment to prevent abuse and ensure the care of the world and to ensure the implementation of UNGPs.
“The Council underlines the significant role that business should play in helping to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. […] All partnerships in achieving the SDGs should be constructed with respect for human rights and based on a responsible business conduct”, the document reads.
Coopermondo, committed in coordinating the Working Group on Private Sector in the National Council for Cooperation and Development (CNCS), believe it to be an important step to strengthen the role and social responsibility of enterprises, especially to those engaged in international cooperation for development.
Download the EU Council conclusions

Cooperatives Europe leads the ICA into a partnership with the EU on development cooperation

On Friday 18th March, Neven Mimica – EU Commissioner in charge of International Cooperation & Development, signed a multi-annual framework partnership agreement with the ICA global and regional offices. This agreement was driven by Cooperatives Europe’s development work over the last decade and will see the active engagement of Coopermondo in its implementation.

The Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) is a program to which Coopermondo participates and will last until 2020. Its main objective is the strengthening of the cooperative movement in the world by improving its visibility and increasing its capacity to take voice within the political and global development processes.
The aggrumeremo recognizes the role of cooperatives as a key actor in the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda on sustainable development.
In 2008, Cooperatives Europe, with an important part of the job made by Coopermondo, compiled the first compendium of almost 300 development projects carried out by European cooperative organisations all over the world. Thanks to the Cooperatives Europe Development Platform (CEDP), which promoted the potential of cooperative enterprises in international development, cooperatives received recognition within the relevant EU development policies over recent years.
“We are proud to have lead the whole global cooperative movement into a partnership with the European Commission on international development – commented Klaus Niederländer, Director of Cooperatives Europe. By casting light over what cooperatives were already doing in development it attracted the attention of the EU and highlighted the potential for collaboration to move forward together”.
The current partnership agreement for the period of 2016-2020 recognizes cooperatives as strong development actors. It will further strengthen the cooperative movement worldwide, enhance its visibility, and increase its capacity to speak out within global and regional development policies and processes.