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Cooperatives essential in fostering economic inclusion: ICA President

BRASILIA, June 6, 2024 – The Organisation of Brazilian Cooperatives [OCB] successfully hosted an influential International Seminar titled “Empowering Futures: Cooperatives at the Forefront of Inclusivity, Resilience & Environmental Stewardship”.

This pivotal event brought together cooperative leaders, experts, researchers, and senior government officials from 17 countries across the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and representatives from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs [UNDESA].

Ariel Guarco, President of the International Cooperative Alliance [ICA], inaugurated the seminar with a compelling address that highlighted the indispensable role of cooperatives in shaping a sustainable future.

Guarco emphasised that cooperatives are essential in fostering economic inclusion, community resilience, and environmental stewardship, urging participants to harness the collective power of cooperatives to address global challenges.

The seminar’s primary objective was to illuminate the significant contributions of cooperatives to global development, particularly in creating more inclusive and resilient communities and promoting environmentally sustainable practices. The event served as a platform for sharing innovative approaches and successful strategies employed by cooperatives worldwide.

One of the key speakers at the seminar was Savitri Singh, Deputy Chief Executive of the National Cooperative Union of India [NCUI]. Singh’s participation underscored the global importance of the cooperative movement.

During a session on “Building Resilient Supply Chains through Cooperative Networks,” Singh provided an in-depth analysis of how cooperatives can enhance supply chain resilience. She highlighted the critical role cooperatives play in ensuring sustainability and facilitating international collaborations.

Singh shared valuable insights from her extensive experience in the cooperative sector. She discussed practical examples of how cooperative networks have successfully navigated challenges and strengthened supply chains, particularly in times of crisis.

Her presentation also explored the innovative ways cooperatives are contributing to sustainable development goals, emphasising the importance of solidarity, mutual support, and shared responsibility in achieving these objectives.

The seminar featured a series of panel discussions, workshops, and networking sessions, allowing participants to exchange ideas and forge new partnerships. Topics covered included cooperative governance, digital transformation in cooperatives, financial inclusion, and strategies for enhancing cooperative impact on environmental sustainability.

Participants expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to engage with global leaders in the cooperative movement and to learn from diverse experiences and perspectives. The event concluded with a call to action for all cooperatives to strengthen their efforts in building a more inclusive, resilient, and environmentally responsible world.

This seminar in Brasília stands as a testament to the enduring relevance and transformative potential of cooperatives. By bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders, the event highlighted the cooperative movement’s unified commitment to addressing global challenges and advancing the well-being of communities worldwide.

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