Inclusion and humanity are at the core of our identity, making cooperatives a valuable tool in the construction of positive peace. We respond to the needs of refugees, rebuild after natural disasters, look after the most vulnerable, and we respond to the ravages of a global pandemic. These crises are constantly threatening a globalised economy. How can cooperatives work together to bring about positive and lasting change in the world?
World Cooperative Congress Sessions
Plenary Session 3: Committing to our Cooperative Identity
Inclusion and humanity are at the core of our identity, making cooperatives a valuable tool in the construction of positive peace. We respond to the needs of refugees, rebuild after natural disasters, look after the most vulnerable, and respond to the ravages of a global pandemic. These crises are constantly threatening an increasingly globalised economy. How can cooperatives work together to bring about positive and lasting change in the world?
Parallel Session 3.1: For the Survival of the Planet
The top priority of a majority of institutions on the planet is to act on climate change. The pandemic has highlighted the interdependence between the degradation of the environment and health risks. Cooperatives have been committed to and have been responding to UN Sustainable Development Goals long before these came into being. How does the global cooperative movement fight against climate change? What measures are being taken in cooperative sectors—agriculture, fisheries, consumption, housing, health, banking, insurance, industry and services, etc. to mitigate the adverse effects of the climate crisis and build resilience? How do the different sectors address the loss of biodiversity? What are the best coping strategies?
Parallel Session 3.2: For Peace and Equality
According to the ICA Declaration on Positive Peace through Cooperatives (2019), peace based on “good contribution in the community, particularly cooperation and integration, reconciliation and equality’ is “positive peace.” Many times, cooperatives have been directly involved in positive peace initiatives without being necessarily recognizing the direct role they have played. Does support for positive peace feature prominently in the global cooperative movement? How do their actions translate into restoring post-conflict peace and stability, conflict prevention, natural disaster recovery and the refugee crisis?
Parallel Session 3.3: For Cooperative Development Across the World
By giving local communities direct control over their destiny, whether in agricultural production, health, housing, education, industry, retail, banking or energy, cooperatives play a decisive role in the world economy. There are lessons to be learned from successes and failures in international development as well as the specific role of cooperatives in community development based on their identity. What lessons have been learnt from the ICA-EU Partnership programme in cooperative development? How have the values and principles which are part of the cooperative identity been important in this process?
Parallel Session 3.4: For Strengthening the Community
Cooperative Principle #7: Concern for Community emphasizes the cooperative contribution to local community development while promoting the economic participation of their members. The cooperative model has the potential to play a key role in communities facing various social problems, such as poverty, inequality and unemployment. It is an excellent model for building circular and autogenous communities by promoting the revitalization of the regional economy, creating jobs and increasing the social and economic participation of members in community development. How can this be enhanced and help more communities facing various social issues? How can the cooperative movement help to build independent, self-reliant communities that will reinvest their own knowledge and resources back in the community itself?
Parallel Session 3.5: For Facing Crises with Strength
The COVID-19 pandemic is the best example of how disasters often occur unexpectedly and cause social, health and economic harm. Our open democratic system helps us face and overcome health, social and economic crises. What have cooperatives done to emerge from this crisis?