Dear cooperative friends,

We’ve come to the end of a very intense, yet fruitful year.

I’d like to thank members from every country and region who have opened their doors to me.

I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with cooperatives all over the world.

These encounters have filled me with pleasure, and motivated me to continue moving forward, convinced of the capacity our movement has to make real change.

I’d like to keep up this close relationship, and be able to hear about your ideas and concerns first hand.

I am just one more cooperativist among the one billion of us who make up this movement.

The International Cooperative Alliance is our home. We keep our doors open, and encourage everyone to get involved.

In the coming year, we will be focusing on the following, among other initiatives:

  • Building on the activities identified in our recent members’ survey, as being of highest value to members.
  • Ensuring that we provide the right services to meet your needs and that we attract and engage new members across the world.
  • Ensuring that we are in the strongest position to be heard and heeded by decision-makers at the highest national, regional and international levels.
  • Strengthening our determination to be recognized as a significant actor of sustainable development.
  • Organising events which keep members up-to-date of the latest developments on topical issues that may impact the cooperative movement and provide cooperators with opportunities for networking. 
  • Issuing position papers on issues affecting the cooperative movement. 
  • Maintaining regular communication and information with our members. 
  • Making sure that the ICA remains a viable organization.
  • Working tirelessly to continue to connect regions and sectors, keeping our management flexible, open, and ultimately faithful to our cooperative principles and values.

I am very proud and privileged to be in the position to lead the ICA in this important work, which will culminate in the establishment of an ICA Strategy for 2020-2030.

This ten-year vision should respond to the need and a will for more solidarity, sharing, justice, openness and peace are growing.  

We, together, are laying the foundations for us to be key players in the framework of the 2030 Agenda over the coming decade.

The world needs our commitment. Sustainable development can only be built through cooperation, equality, and solidarity.

For 175 years we have been generating decent work, with gender equality, respect for the environment, and inclusive to all people without exception.

We hold the key for the development of a world based on fraternal, peaceful, and democratic relationships between countries.

We will continue to press ahead, with the conviction of being part of a movement that is working for a better world, each and every day.

On behalf of my fellow Board Members and of the ICA staff, I wish you all a happy festive season and wonderful 2019 with your family and friends!

Ariel Guarco
International Cooperative Alliance