Quezon City, Metro Manila – The International Co-operative Alliance-Asia and Pacific (ICA-AP) held its Regional Assembly and 11th Cooperative Forum on November 8, 2023 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria.
After two decades, the Philippines again hosted the event, bringing together 600 cooperators from 27 countries across Asia and the Pacific, all convening under the theme “Cooperatives: Our Common Agenda.” The assembly marked a milestone, fostering a vision of inclusive, integrated, and effective cooperation among all cooperatives to address the needs of people and the planet.
The gathering was supported by ICA-AP members – Federation of Peoples’ Sustainable Development Cooperative (FPSDC), MASS-SPECC Cooperative Development Center, National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO), and VICTO National. The four cooperative federations are also members of the Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI). FSSI social enterprise partner Network Consolidated Cooperative Bank (NCCB) also supported the event.
Sylvia Paraguya, CEO of NATCCO delivered a message, highlighting the cooperative model’s resilience in the face of climate change and rapid technological advancements. She emphasized the crucial role cooperatives play in building better lives and communities.
“Cooperation is our answer,” stressed Paraguya, acknowledging the challenges faced and the cooperative model’s ability to provide solutions.
Meanwhile, Nadette Toledo, CEO of MASS-SPECC and FSSI Trustee, shared insights aligning their cooperative’s strategies with member, emphasizing inclusive growth, sustainability, and contributions to environmental protection and restoration.
FSSI, which has provided social investments to partner social cooperatives since its founding in 1995, participated in and supported the event.
The ICA-AP Regional Assembly provided a dynamic platform for cooperative leaders to share best practices, discuss challenges, and strengthen collaborations.