By Roy Hezron
The 33rd World Cooperative Congress Day celebrations, which were to be held next month in South Korea, have been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The congress, which brings together all co-operative movements affiliated to the InternationalCooperative Alliance(ICA), has been re-scheduled to December next year. Seoul will still host the celebrations.
The theme for the event will be “Deepening our Cooperative Identity” to strengthen the cooperative movement’s role in addressing global challenges and also explore avenues to improve lives at the local and global levels.
Announcing the postponement, Ariel Guarco, the President of the ICA, said: “I’m delighted to confirm that the 33rd World Cooperative Congress will go ahead next year in Seoul. This will be an opportunity to share experiences of resilience in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and discuss how cooperatives can overcome other global challenges from climate change to gender equality. Together we can create a better, fairer and more inclusive world for generations to come.”
He added: “Cooperation is not only good for addressing crises. Cooperation is the alternative way to build a fairer, more balanced and, fundamentally, less fragile economy in the face of global challenges.
“Our cooperative identity, values and principles have remained strong and are the foundation for cooperatives worldwide to help their communities survive and cope following the pandemic.”
This year, the Alliance marks both the 125th anniversary since it was founded in 1895 to promote the interests of cooperatives worldwide, and the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the ICA Statement on the Cooperative Identity which was adopted on 21 September 1995.
Park Cha Hoon, President of the Council of Korean Cooperatives, the co-host for the event, welcomed cooperative societies to his country.
“We are very much looking forward to welcoming cooperators to Seoul,” he said.
The ICA has 311 members from 111 countries, after six members joined the Alliance most recently.