I am convinced that the global cooperative movement needs an Alliance that is closer to its members, that can better understand their needs and what their objectives and future projects are, and that, on the basis of this better understanding, can help each of them, facilitating their task, accompanying them in times of growth but in difficult moments too.
But we also need an Alliance that links us better to the rest of the world, both civil society organizations and the institutions that represents society at global level, governments and intergovernmental organizations.
An Alliance with greater power of incidence in the areas where important decisions are made at global scale, decisions that have a direct impact on the life of each of our cooperatives, on each one of us. An Alliance that can be placed at the center of the main debates that are taking place in today’s world (employment, environment, gender, inequalities, peace). There is still an important distance between what cooperativism concretely contributes and the marginality in which it still find itself in the debate of ideas.
And finally, we need an Alliance that can collaborate with its members in the realization of businesses and all kinds of business exchanges and groups, inside and outside the movement. That can collaborate in creating the necessary conditions so that cooperatives can improve the quality standards of their products or services in order to compete in the global market, that allows them to do more and better business, and thus benefit their members and the society in general.
Cooperatives are companies that have the double function of being on the one hand economically viable, of competing in the market and doing it equally or better than companies that seek profitability as their ultimate goal. And on the other hand, be socially responsible, contributing through our action to improving the quality of life of our members and faithful to our principle of concern to the community, to society as a whole.
As I have done since my beginnings in the cooperative movement, I will work with commitment and strength. Understanding that all leadership is a collective construction, and that it must therefore be managed collectively. I am absolutely convinced that the inspiring force of cooperative principles and values is the basis for achieving our goals.
We have an enormous opportunity to contribute significantly to the construction of a more just, more inclusive and more peaceful society. In a word, the opportunity for build that Better World that the United Nations entrusted to us in 2012.
I invite you to join me in this huge challenge!
I invite you to feel happy and lucky for being part of this wonderful challenge!