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ICA-AP Newsletter
March Issue
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10th Asia-Pacific Cooperative Minister’s Conference
Co-operatives and the Sustainable Development Goals – combining economic and social impact to act for a better future
India - Co-operatives Celebrate Women’s Day
New Zealand - Economic Development Minister salutes co-ops at inaugural leader’s forum
Japan - Japan Cooperative Insurance Association Fact Book
Global Survey on youth cooperative entrepreneurship: ANSWER BEFORE 26 MAY!!
Co-operatives should reinvent themselves 
Visit of Co-operative Management Students from Gandhigram University  
New Member - JC Soken
ICA-EU Partnership on Co-operatives in Development: People Centered Businesses in Action
Year One (March 2016-Feb 2017) – ICA-EU Partnership on Co-operatives in Development People Centered Businesses in Action ICA-AP Status Report 
EU Policy Forum on Development - Annual Global Meeting
Upcoming Event

10th Asia-Pacific Cooperative Minister’s Conference


                        


The preparations are coming along well for the 10th Asia Pacific Cooperative Minister’s Conference   from April 18 to 21, 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The theme for the conference is: “Visioning Ahead to 2030: Promoting Stronger Partnerships between Government and Co-operative Stakeholders in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” The conference will highlight the ways in which cooperatives are contributing to achieving the SDGs; explore ways to strengthen partnerships between Governments and Co-operative Stakeholders; and draw a road map to realizing the potential of co-operatives in sustainable development.
A website has been created for the conference - http://www.vca.org.vn/coop2017.html. The site has information about hotels, visa procedure and other details. Please visit this site regularly as we will regularly update information.

Co-operatives and the Sustainable Development Goals – combining economic and social impact to act for a better future

A one-day seminar was organized by ICA and the OCB system/OCESP and Unimed do Brasil on March 6 on the theme, Co-operatives and the Sustainable Development Goals – combining economic and social impact to act for a better future. There were three panel discussion with an impressive line-up of experts on, 1) SDGs and how cooperatives can act to achieve a new society, 2) Co-operatives and intrinsic model for economic growth and social inclusion and 3) Co-operative identity as a response to the reduction of inequalities and disparities.

Monique Leroux, ICA President in her opening remarks mentioned that co-operatives were the first economic group in the world to support SDGs and highlighted examples from the Asia Pacific and other regions. Maxwell Haywood, United Nations Focal Point on Co-operatives, lauded the work co-operatives do to achieve the SDGs. But he challenged co-operatives to expand on these achievements: “co-operatives are too shy in asserting their role, the world ought to hear and learn more about what this model offers and realises.” From the Asia Pacific region, Kenki Maeda, General Manager of JC-Soken highlighted the role played by Japanese cooperatives in addressing issues around aging. In Japan, there are 65 million members of co-operatives and 37% of the total households use consumer co-operatives. The economic growth in the country has brought on the one hand larger independence, but on the other hand, isolation. “To act against the isolation in Japan, the co-operative movement has initiated ‘chatting parties’ and ‘hangout places’ for elderly people to meet and voluntary health care services, as well as ‘area watching activity’ to keep the contact with isolated families and persons.”

India - Co-operatives Celebrate Women’s Day



[Image source: Indian Cooperative] Ms. Vasudha Mishra,(I.A.S) Managing Director addressing at NCUI auditorium.

Men and women came together at the NCUI auditorium in New Delhi to mark the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017. The National Co-operative Union of India (NCUI) and the National Co-operative Development Corporation (NCDC) organized a national workshop on “Strengthening Women Co-operatives,” that was attended by more than 200 women co-operative leaders.

Mr. Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in his valedictory address expressed his disappointment at the low number of women led co-operatives and said, “nature has made woman superior to us men in so many aspects of life and they are capable of providing better cooperative leadership compared to men”. He added that special funds (30% according to a directive of the Union government) must be allocated for women-led co-operatives and training programmes that focus on skill-development of women must be organized in large numbers. Ms. Mirai Chatterjee, Chairperson of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in her address touched on the power of leadership by women and remarked that when women controlled the affairs, one could notice the difference!  Ms. Vasudha Mishra (I.A.S), Managing Director, NCDC reasoned that national workshop is aimed at creating awareness among women co-operators on funding opportunities and simple the procedures to access these at the NCDC and the NCUI. The ICA-AP represented by the EU partnership team presented ICA’s advocacy of gender-equal co-operative practices.

New Zealand - Economic Development Minister salutes co-ops at inaugural leader’s forum



Co-operative Business New Zealand
's first Co-operative Business Leaders’ Forum held on 3 March 2017 at Auckland’s Fonterra Centre was attended by university researchers, top executives and the Minister for Economic Development Hon. Simon Bridges. Speaking on the occasion, Minister Simon Bridges acknowledged the important role of co-operatives in the New Zealand economy noted that co-operatives contribute 20% of New Zealand's GDP, with that value being retained locally. The one-day event included an overview Dr Lisa Callagher and Dr Elena Garnevska, from the University of Auckland’s Business School and Massey University respectively of a recently published joint university research project titled: The New Zealand Co-operative Economy. Cooperative Business New Zealand brings together co-ops, mutual and societies from across sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, insurance, banking, education, health, wholesale and retail.  

Japan - Japan Cooperative Insurance Association Fact Book

The Japan Cooperative Insurance Association released the English version of, "Cooperative Insurance in Japan Fact Book 2016.’ This book has been compiled to introduce whole picture of cooperative insurance business in Japan to organizations overseas. The fact book covers business results and activities of cooperative insurers in Japan for  http://www.jcia.or.jp/english/news/entry/539 or http://www.jcia.or.jp/english/pub/pdf

Global Survey on youth cooperative entrepreneurship: ANSWER BEFORE 26 MAY!!

As part of the campaign WE OWN IT! The future of work is ours, CICOPA (The international Organization of Industrial and Service Cooperatives) has launched an online survey. The information collected will feed into a global study on trends among young people in establishing and being part of worker cooperatives, social cooperatives, producers’/freelancers’ cooperatives as well as new emerging forms. The purpose of the study is to inform and raise awareness about the state of the art of youth cooperative entrepreneurship at the worldwide level. The deadline for answering is Friday 26 May and the results of the survey will be published by the end of the year. The survey is available in EnglishSpanish and French

Co-operatives should reinvent themselves 

Dr. M.V. Sasikumar and Dr. Niranjan Urs of the Institute of Co-operative Management, Kannur (Kerala, India) in their article, Co-operatives should reinvent themselves (published in Hindu Businessline March 6, 2017) focus on participation & empowerment, and governance & professionalism as areas that can drive growth in co-operatives that have traditionally worked under the patronage of government. Asserting that people are the cardinal strength of co-operatives, the duo brings the issues of primary level member participation and the need for effective leaders like Mr. Tribhuvandas Patel, Dr. V. Kurien (AMUL) and Mr. G.K. Panicker (Kerala Dinesh Bidi Co-operative), for the Indian movement to translate ideas into tangible outcomes. The article can be read here.

Visit of Co-operative Management Students from Gandhigram University



It was wonderful to host management students from the Gandhigram Rural Institute, Tamil Nadu at the Asia Pacific office on March 20, 2017. The delegation headed by Dr. C. Pitchai, Associate Professor, Department of Cooperation, comprised of 15 MBA candidates and faculty.  The delegation and the regional office staff exchanged views on co-operative values and principles, youth involvement in co-operatives and generating self-employment, among other things. The regional director expressed great pleasure in interacting with students and remarked that ‘youth’ as the future of co-operative movement, must come forward and own the movement by creating their own co-operatives and generating value based employment.

New Member - JC Soken

The Japan-Cooperative General Research Institute (JC-Soken) joined ICA as an Associate Member.  JC-Soken’s goal is to help cooperatives develop in a sound manner and focuses on  agriculture, fishery, forestry and rural communities. They conduct research on: (a) Cooperatives of various sectors; (b) Food, agriculture, rural communities and agricultural cooperatives; and (c) Management of cooperatives, especially, personnel policies. Based on their research, JC-Soken puts together and sends out information regarding co-operatives to members and the general public; provides consultations for members, and conducts training courses for members. They are registered as a research institute and their members are primary co-operatives, unions and federations of co-operatives, and other organizations that support co-operatives. More information can be found at: www.jc-so-ken.or.jp/ 
 
The current membership of ICA-AP is 95 members from 30 countries.

ICA-EU Partnership on Co-operatives in Development: People Centered Businesses in Action



Group Photo at Coop Naranjo

To mark the completion of the first year of the ICA-EU Partnership project, an annual review and coordination meeting was organized by ICA Americas in San Jose, Costa Rica. This was the second time that the Project team from all offices (Americas, Africa, Asia and Pacific, and Europe) was meeting after the project kick-off in June 2016. The annual review meeting was facilitated by Ralf Griz of the German NGO Finep; Gustavo Gatica, Researcher at UNED (national university for distance learning) for research; and Gutiérrez (former ILO, UNDP, and ECLAC), Danilo Mora, (Communication Officer, UNDP), Jorge Polimeni (Executive Delegate of Ecological Flag Foundation) and Alberto Mora (ICA Americas) for policy and advocacy.
 
The ICA-EU Partnership project to be implemented over the course of 2016 – 2020, envisions several activity streams that comprise of actions on policy & advocacy, thematic research, capacity building for members and institutional strengthening of the ICA. The review meeting focused on activities carried out by each region and the annual plan envisioned for their respective regions. The staff took part in a #coops4dev communication drive and visited Coop Naranjo.   Coop Naranjo is a coffee growers co-operative, set up in 1960 and benefits its grower members in pooling their efforts in coffee processing and practicing sustainable farming.

Year One (March 2016-Feb 2017) – ICA-EU Partnership on Co-operatives in Development People Centered Businesses in Action ICA-AP Status Report 




The focus during Year 1 was on Work & Ownership in Co-operatives, Youth inclusion in the co-operative movement, and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Project team engaged with affiliates in Palestine (Economic and Social Development Council of Palestine), Nepal (National Agricultural Central Co-operative Federation Limited), Mongolia (National Association of Mongolian Agricultural Co-operatives) and Sri Lanka (National Co-operative Council). Sri Lanka. In addition the project activities involved members from Australia, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Timor Leste and UAE.
 
Work & ownership in co-operatives are led by members and fall under the category of co-operatives that are represented by ICA’s sectoral organization on Industrial, Artisanal and Service co-operatives. The lack of recent information and contemporary understanding of this typology of co-operatives in south and south-east Asia, prompted two workshops last year in India, along with a preliminary mapping exercise of the subject-matter in India and Sri Lanka. This initiative will materialize as AP’s first thematic research product in 2017. The regional office through its regional youth network organized, a ‘youth panel on co-operative policy’ on the side-lines of the first Asia Pacific Co-operative Youth Summit in Bali in September, last year. The panel comprised of young co-operators from eight different countries around the world and based its discussions on what youth want from co-operatives (and stakeholders). To harmonize action on youth by the Alliance, the project has begun the process of a joint research activity with all its offices on ‘youth and co-operatives’ which will be released in 2017. The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals has given an opportunity to the co-operative movement to highlight and measure its contribution to societies. The ICA-AP reached out and engaged with representatives of high-level stakeholders in development and international agencies like the EU Delegations, the ILO, We Effect, IRMA etc. both bilaterally and multilaterally. The Asia Pacific unit of the partnership will organize a co-operative platform for stakeholders in 2017. The report of the first year can be found here.

EU Policy Forum on Development - Annual Global Meeting

 

The 5th Global meeting of the Policy Forum on Development (PFD)was held in Brussels from 21st – 23rd March 2017. The PFD is a platform to bring together civil society organizations (CSOs), local authorities and other stakeholders from all over the world to discuss issues of mutual concerns and initiate a stable mode of communication with the European Commission (EC) on contribution to the EU global sustainable development. The agenda of the meeting consisted of a session on update to members on the review exercises done during the year and discussion on the agenda and priorities for 2017. The agenda were divided into 3 parts - PFD related matters, the EU’s policy package to spearhead global action to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, and translating policy into action: fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships to advance the global agenda. The EU has proposed a new “European Consensus on Development’ that is structured around the five Ps: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships based on the 2030 Agenda. The PFD welcomed the proposal and recommended to focus on current and future development challenges related to migration, humanitarian, climate and security etc. A working group discussion was held to discuss how the PFD can promote an enabling environment to support multi stake holder implementation of the 2030 agenda. The ICA-AP was represented by Ms. Savitri Singh, program Director who participated in the discussions and facilitated a group work as rapporteur.

April 2017
  • 10th Asia Pacific Co-operative Ministers’ Conference, “Visioning Ahead to 2030: Promoting Stronger Partnerships between Government and Co-operative Stakeholders in realizing SDGs.” Hanoi, Vietnam, April 18-21
 
MAY 2017
  • Training of Trainers – program in Bhutan (tbc)
  • Bangkok, May 23 to 25, 2017 at ESCAP.UN sponsored - Capacity-Building Workshop - Cooperatives Evidence Based Policies and 2030 Agenda: Building Capacity to Produce and Analyse Relevant Data.                          
  • Coop Round table – Video discussion on Co-operative Identity Statement – New Delhi (May)
  • 40th year celebrations, NATTCO, Manila, Philippines, May 25. ICA-AP to organize event on SDGs ahead of the event
     
JUNE 2017
  • Workshop on Development of Co-operatives in Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, June 29-July 2, 2017
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