- 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.
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 full list of speakers is available here. The Congress programme and full media kit is available here.