Message at Coops4dev Closing Event, looking back at the origins of the ICA – EU Partnership and acknowledging the importance of the political support by the European Commission for the cooperative movement:

“Undoubtedly, this partnership has been a milestone in the 126-year history of the International Cooperative Alliance.

Because it has allowed us to advance like never before in some points that are directly aligned with our objectives and that help us to strengthen the cooperative movement and empower cooperative members on a regional and global scale.

Indeed, a total of 245 organizations from all continents have participated directly in activities of the coops4dev program.

These activities, which have taken place in different parts of the planet and continued to be carried out virtually during the pandemic, were some of the many fruits that the investment of 7 million eurosgenerated by our Partnership with by the European Commission. It gave us to consolidated the role of cooperatives such as a key player in international development

This is expressed in other figures that we see today as the balance of the joint work carried out since March 2016.

For example, 88 country reports on cooperative legislation have been published, 10 research papers publications on youth, environment, peace and inclusive business models, among other topics, and 80 training meetings have been held, with a total of 120 days dedicated to this very important task

Broadcasting through audiovisual media, social networks and other channels multiplied the impact of this program, which once again showed the power of intercooperation to meet our objectives as an integrating organization of cooperativism worldwide.

In a changing world, with challenges that are permanently renewed, and with urgencies that call us to act in various territories, having instruments like this partnership makes us stronger and makes possible what, alone, would be impossible.

Being able to move towards truly sustainable development throughout the planet requires synergy between public and private actors committed to the common good.

And what better example of this than a work experience like this that we have carried out together with the European Commission.

An experience that has also presented its results through several audits where transparency is reflected as another of the virtues of this type of agreement.

Again, I want to thank and congratulate each person who has worked to make this possible.

And I want to highlight the leadership of our Regional Directors and the Director General in putting the ICA up to a challenge as important as it is to work side by side with no less than the European Union.

I would direct thank you to our Partner here, not internally

Today we celebrate the outcomes of 5 years of joint work. Today we also look forward to many more years of cooperation to come, to re-build better together with the European Commission.

The results are visible.

If we want to rebuild, better, together, this World affected by the pandemic but also by multiple social, economic and environmental problems, intercooperation is the way.

Let’s keep going, and let’s keep promoting this business model with a proven experience that makes sustainable development possible in each region and on a global scale.

I celebrate this closing day, I am sure that we will be able to round off a more than positive balance in every aspect involved in the program and I hope that we can continue to meet to continue building together a more just, more inclusive and more supportive World. We stand ready to continue our partnership with the European Commission in the next years to come.”