The Global Cooperative Movement with a Vision for 2030: For a Better World

{posted_on} Mar 9, 2023 Новини

The Global Cooperative Movement with a Vision for 2030: For a Better World

For the second time in the history of the cooperative movement in Bulgaria, from 7 to 9 March 2023, the Central Cooperative Union hosting Board of Directors meeting of the International Cooperative Alliance. The ICA Board is comprised of leaders of national cooperative organizations from 21 countries from all global regions - Asia and the Pacific, Americas, Africa and Europe. At the invitation of the President of Central Cooperative Union-Bulgaria Prof. Petar Stefanov., the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Rumen Radev, opened the ICA Board of Directors meeting and in his welcome address stated: "...We, here in Bulgaria look with hope to the cooperative model, because in difficult times not only business, but also the state disregard the small remote settlements, and namely the cooperative continued to be there - among the people..."The President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev and the Minister of Agriculture Yavor Gechev held a business meeting with the President of the International Cooperative Alliance Dr. Ariel Guarco and the President of CCU – prof. Petar Stefanov. 


The International Cooperative Alliance /ICA/, the global voice and knowledge, expertise and coordinated action forum working to the benefit of cooperative members and cooperative business is an independent, non-government organisation established in 1895 with the aim to unite, represent and stand up for the interests of cooperatives all over the world. Members of the International Cooperative Alliance are 315 national cooperative organisations from 107 countries from the four global ICA regions – Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe and Africa.

The data listed below is an outline of the important key figures characterising the large-scale nature of the global cooperative movement, contributor to sustainable economic development, stable and respectful employment:

• 1 billion individual members united in 3 million cooperatives all over the world;

• More than 280 million people employed in all economic sectors, representing 12 % of people employed worldwide;

• More than 2,6 trillion US dollars annual cooperative business turnover, ranking the cooperative business at the respectful 10th place among the top developed economies in the world.


Passionate discussions took place on important topics related to the priorities underlying the ICA 2020-2030 Strategic Plan "A People-Centred Path to a Second Cooperative Decade", namely:  

• Promotion of the cooperative identity;

• Growth of the cooperative movement;

• Cooperation between cooperatives;

• Cooperatives' contribution to global sustainable development.


On the occasion of 8th March – International Women's Day – prof. Petar Stefanov, PhD – President of the Central Cooperative Union presented to the ladies – members of the International Cooperative Alliance Board commemorative souvenirs with the wish of strengthening the role and participation of women in the governance bodies of the global cooperative movement.


As part of the meetings the ICA Board members visited and got acquainted with the most recent developments in "Zdrave" Cooperative Specialised Rehabilitation Hospital, Bankya, the cooperative company "Bulminveks", Gorna Banya and the COOP Trade-Logistics Centre in Sofia.


The ICA Board approved the agenda and the materials for the upcoming ICA General Assembly which will take place on 28 June 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.


The challenges the world is facing today remind us that Earth is our shared home, where each one of us is vulnerable but UNITED we can overcome these challenges. The cooperative values and principles give us hope that we have to look at the world with a different view and we have to state even more convincedly that the cooperative model is the right path society has to take towards a better world.


"International Affairs" Directorate


International Cooperative Alliance Board

Dr Ariel Guarco - President


Vice Presidents:

• Chandrapal Singh Yadav – ICA – Asia Pacific

• Graciela Fernandez – ICA – Americas

• Susanne Westhousen – Cooperatives Europe

• Oriyomi Ayeola - ICA – Africa



• Marcio Lopez de Freitas, Brazil

• Krasimir Ignatov, Bulgaria

• Ben Reid, United Kingdom

• Aditya Yadav, India

• Bahman Abdollahi, Iran

• Iñigo Albizuri Landazabal, Spain

• Guiseppe Attilio Dadda, Italy

• Alexandra Wilson, Canada

• George Magutu Mwangi, Kenya

• Yen Hong Pau, China

• Maria Eugenia Perez Zea, Columbia

• Kamarudin Ismail, Malaysia

• Martin Lowery, USA

• Marjaana Saarikoski, Finland

• Toru Nakaya, Japan

• Anna Aguirre, Youth representative

• Xiomara Nuñez de Cespedes, President of ICA Gender Equality Committee


Global sector cooperative organisations:

• Prof. Petar Stefanov, PhD – President, Consumer Cooperatives Worldwide (CCW)

• Dr Carlos Zarco – President, International Health Cooperative Organisation (IHCO)

• Sung-hi Lee – International Cooperative Agriculture Organisation (ICAO)

• Blase Lambert - Representative, Cooperative Housing International (CHI)

• Shaun Tarbuck – International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF)

• Subrahmanyam Bhima – International Cooperative Banking Association (ICBA)

• Giuseppe Guerini – European Confederation of Industrial and Social Cooperatives (CECOP – CICOPA Europe)

• Kwang-bum Park – International Cooperative Fisheries Organisation (ICFO)