The International Year of Co-operatives was officially launched at the United Nations on Monday 31st October 2011. Three hundred leaders of global co-operatives witnessed the launch event at the United Nations General Assembly at which Dame Pauline Green, ICA President spoke.
During the day ICA President Dame Pauline Green, Monique Leroux, Chair of the Board, President & Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group & Piet Moreland, CEO of Rabobank held a Press Conference with Mr Sha Zukang, UN Under-Secretary-General in the Department of Economic & Social Affairs.
On the evening of 31st October the ICA Leadership Reception attended by leaders of some the world’s largest co-operatives which saw the launch of the Global Development Co-operative a USD50 million fund set up as a legacy to provide much needed funding to support co-operatives in developing countries. The event also saw the release of the latest Global300 report. Sponsored by Credit Cooperatif, Desjardins and IFFCO the report named the world’s largest 300 co-operative enterprises which have collective revenues of USD 1.6 trillion, which is comparable to the GDP of the world’s ninth largest economy.
1st November the ICA Leadership Forum saw 75 Chief Executives and Presidents meet to outline what conditions would need to be put in place if the International Year was to be the beginning of a co-operative decade with co-operatives becoming the fastest growing business mode.
The ICA officially launched the International Year in Cancun at its biennial General Assembly meeting in November 2011. The General Assembly was the largest to date with over 2000 delegates representing almost 100 countries meeting to celebrate the launch of the International Year. As well as usual business, the Assembly was honoured by a visit of the Mexican President Felipe Calderón as well video messages with fraternal greetings from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and ILO Directo General Juan Somavia.