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Regional conference of Co-operatives of the Americas sets out vision for the future

23 Oct 2017

The 20th regional conference of Co-operatives of the Americas, the regional organisation of the International Co-operative Alliance, brought together 738 delegates from 24 countries to discuss about the key challenges faced by the movement in the region.

Participants and panellists showed optimism and confidence in co-operative models, in spite of challenging times due to the terrible natural disasters affecting the region.

The closing ceremony featured co-operative leaders from across the region, including José Luis Blanco, the new regional director for Americas, Ramón Imperial, president of Co-operatives of the Americas, and vice president Ariel Guarco, as well as representatives of Mexican co-operative entities, who helped organise the event, and public authorities from the hosting country.

Mr Imperial highlighted that many co-operators had been affected by the disasters but co-operatives across the continent had shown solidarity.

Promoting gender equality and engaging with the youth were two of the key topics at the conference.

Speaking at the event, Mr Blanco highlighted the importance of integration for the success of co-operatives. He added that the Alliance played a key role in facilitating this.

Mr Blanco envisions an Alliance that is united and integrated in spite of the differences between the different regions and countries, small and large co-ops or rural and urban ones.

“There is a lot of talk about restructuring and deepening the theory and practice of the co-operative. Yes, this is true, but the restructuring needs to come from us members, it has to protect our fundamental identity,” he added.