For immediate release
- The Congress will be held on 1-3 December 2021 in person in Seoul (Republic of Korea) and online
- The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) organises World Cooperative Congresses every 5-10 years to bring together the global cooperative movement
- Keynote speakers include International Labour Organization Director General, Guy Ryder; SEWA founder Ela Bhatt; and UN Special Rapporteur for Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Olivier de Schutter.
The global cooperative movement was welcomed to the World Cooperative Congress in Seoul by the President of the Republic, Moon Jae-in, who delivered a keynote address at the event’s inaugural ceremony on 1 December. Read his full speech in English here.
The Congress also heard from Minister of Economy, Hong Nam-ki, who highlighted the important role of the social economy in Korea.
“It is a real honour to open this Congress in your presence. We are profoundly grateful for your hospitality," said ICA President Ariel Guarco.
He added: “At this World Cooperative Congress we will seek to share learning and build new proposals to deepen our Cooperative Identity in a global scenario still critical and uncertain in health, economic, social and environmental terms.”
ICA Director General Bruno Roelants introduced the Congress theme and sub-themes, calling on in-person and online delegates to contribute to the discussion around deepening the cooperative identity.
Over the next three days, Congress delegates will explore cooperatives’ role in tackling some of the most pressing global challenges in order to build a more secure future. Using the current COVID-19 and climate crises as a framework, discussions will aim to deepen the cooperative identity by examining its values, strengthening its actions, committing to its principles and living its achievements.
The International Cooperative Alliance organises World Cooperative Congresses every 5-10 years to bring together the global cooperative movement. Over 1,000 delegates from Korea and around the world are expected in Seoul with hundreds of others registering to attend virtually. The Congress will be a hybrid event, taking place both in person in Seoul, and online.
Keynote speakers include International Labour Organization Director General, Guy Ryder; SEWA founder Ela Bhatt; UN Special Rapporteur for Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Olivier de Schutter; and deputy president and regional minister for labour and employment in the Basque government, Idoia Mendia.
The Congress programme and full media kit is available here.
- Ends -
For further information or to request interviews with spokespeople, please contact:
Communications Manager - World Cooperative Congress
International Cooperative Alliance
Mobile/WhatsApp: +1 703 606 0324 (USA)
Notes to Editors
About the International Cooperative Alliance
- The International Cooperative Alliance is a non-profit international association established in 1895 to advance the cooperative social enterprise model. The International Cooperative Alliance is the voice for cooperatives worldwide, representing more than 310 cooperative federations and organisations across 109 countries.
- 12% of people in the world are cooperators. Through its membership, the International Cooperative Alliance represents 1.2 billion people from any of the 2.94 million cooperatives worldwide. The largest 300 cooperatives in the world have combined annual revenues of 2.16 trillion USD (2015) and 280 million people around the world (10% of the employed population) secure their livelihoods in cooperatives, either through direct employment or by organizing through a cooperative.
- The International Cooperative Alliance works with global and regional governments and organisations to create the legislative environments that allow cooperatives to form and grow. Towards media and public, the International Cooperative Alliance promotes the importance of people-centred cooperatives’ values-based business model.
- Operating from a global office in Brussels, Belgium, the International Cooperative Alliance is organised with four Regional Offices (Europe, Africa, Americas, and Asia-Pacific), and eight Sectoral Organisations (Banking, Agriculture, Fisheries, Insurance, Health, Housing, Consumer Cooperatives and service and industry cooperatives)
- Further information can be found at ica.coop
About the World Cooperative Congress
- The International Cooperative Alliance organises World Cooperative Congresses every 5-10 years to bring together the global cooperative movement. The 33rd Congress is taking place as a hybrid event, hosted in Seoul, Republic of Korea, and also online.
- The theme for the 33rd World Cooperative Congress is “Deepening Our Cooperative Identity”, looking at how this can help the world “Rebuild Better Together”, addressing challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, sustainable development, peace and equality. The Cooperative Identity is defined by the International Cooperative Alliance within its Statement on the Cooperative Identity.
- Using the current global crisis as a framework, discussions will aim to deepen the cooperative identity by examining its values, strengthening its actions, committing to its principles and living its achievements.
- Further information can be found at icaworldcoopcongress.coop
More about cooperatives
- Cooperatives are people-centred enterprises owned, controlled and run by and for their members to realise their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations.
- Cooperatives bring people together in a democratic and equal way. Whether the members are the customers, employees, users or residents, cooperatives are democratically managed by the 'one member, one vote' rule. Members share equal voting rights regardless of the amount of capital they put into the enterprise.
- Cooperatives share internationally agreed principles and act together to build a better world through cooperation. Putting fairness, equality and social justice at the heart of the enterprise, cooperatives around the world are allowing people to work together to create sustainable enterprises that generate long-term jobs and prosperity.
- Cooperatives allow people to take control of their economic future and, because they are not owned by shareholders, the economic and social benefits of their activity stay in the communities where they are established. Profits generated are either reinvested in the enterprise or returned to the members.
- Read the Statement on the Cooperative Identity which contains the definition of a cooperative, the values of cooperatives, and the seven cooperative principles here.
Suggested social media posts:
Join us at the #WorldCoopCongress to hear from @ilo DG, @guyryder, the UN's @DeSchutterO and @SEWAFed 's Ela Bhatt #wearecoops https://icaworldcoopcongress.coop
What is the role of #coops in the #futureofwork? @Ilo DG, @guyryder will address the question during his keynote speech at the #WorldCoopCongress, which will be held in person in Seoul and online. Check out the programme https://icaworldcoopcongress.coop/programme/
At #WorldCoopCongress, @SEWAFed 's Ela Bhatt will be speaking about how #coops work together to bring about positive and lasting change in the world. Check out the programme #wearecoops https://icaworldcoopcongress.coop/programme/
How are #coops turning @UN global policies into effective local actions? At the #WorldCoopCongress, the UN's @DeSchutterO will open discussions around the key theme ‘LIVING Our #Cooperative Identity’ Check out the programme https://icaworldcoopcongress.coop/programme/