December 2023 Issue: Co-operator Newsletter Quarterly December 2023

What Went on At The ICA-AP Regional Assembly 2023

What Went on At The ICA-AP Regional Assembly 2023
Caption: What Went on At The ICA-AP Regional Assembly 2023

By Yovita Christiani, Edited by Sng Ler Jun

Photo by ICA-AP

The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Regional Assembly 2023 took place on 9 November 2023 in Manila, Philippines. Themed “Cooperative: Our Common Agenda”, over 500 cooperative leaders from 27 countries, including two representatives from SNCF attended the assembly.

The Regional Assembly commenced with a welcome address by President or ICA-Asia Pacific Mr Chandrapal Singh Yadav,  President of the ICA Mr. Ariel Guarco, and Ms Maria Corazon, a co-operative member from the Philippines.

In his welcome address, Mr Guarco said: “Fellow co-operators, we are at the crossroads, moving towards a culture of consumption or towards a more sustainable future centred on person and anchored on peace. We have proven to the best actors to advance this kind of model. Sustainability is rooted in our DNA. Nowadays there is a natural bond between our social enterprise model and the UN agenda on sustainable development.”

He added: “Today we are strategic allies of the ILO and other international bodies. This come as many international leaders are realising, they have running out of allies and opportunities to reverse the course of action such as the destruction of our environment. More than anything else, we should stand by side of our co-ops and innovate new ways. The present may seem bleak, but the future may be blessed for us if we co-operate.”

Ms Corazon shared that many co-operatives are looking at digitalisation to foster better work cooperation between big and small co-ops. “The Asia-Pacific region remains to be exciting for the world,” she said.

Mr Chandrapal mentioned that the women and youth committees have played a pivotal role promoting the ICA’s mission through meaningful activities.

Mr Andrew Allimadi, Communication Officer of United Nation, joined us online and he shared that an UN resolution has been proposed to make 2025 the International Year of Co-ops.

Following the assembly, participants had the opportunity to visit local co-operatives.  One example is ACDI Multipurpose Cooperative, the largest co-operative in Philippines, with 265,951 members and they have 140 offices across the Philippine Archipelago. One key point shared by the Board Members of the co-op was to attract and retain talent by offering competitive remuneration and benefits, such as housing allowance, groceries benefit, festive benefit, and job rotations.  

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Who we are

SNCF is the apex body of Singapore’s Co-operative Movement, and secretariat of the Central Co-operative Fund (CCF). Formed in 1980 with the aim of championing Singapore’s Co-operative Movement, the apex body represents majority of co-operative members in Singapore through its affiliated co-operatives.