Colombian National Cooperative Congress to focus on collective prosperity

'It is very important to move forward towards a culture of co-operation and solidarity, that in addition to contributing to building a more human, participative and inclusive society'

The Colombian Confederation of Co-operatives (Confecoop) is organising the country’s 17th national congress, which is expected to bring together over 1,000 co-operators.

Themed “a culture for collective prosperity”, the congress is held in Cartagena on 30-31 August and aims to promote solidarity and mutual aid.

“In a society like the Colombian one, marked by a great tendency towards individualism, we think it is necessary to promote the co-operative values and principles, as fundamental pillars to contribute to building a society, a nation, and communities that value empowering and transforming concepts such as social solidarity, economic co-operation and mutual aid,” said Carlos Ernesto Acero, executive president of Confecoop.

These concepts give co-ops the ability to promote a long-term vision for sustainable economic growth, social development and environmental responsibility, he said.

He added: “From the co-operative movement’s perspective it is very important to move forward towards a culture of co-operation and solidarity, that in addition to contributing to building a more human, participative and inclusive society, also facilitates strengthening the co-operative model, to offer it as a powerful instrument of social, economic, cultural and environmental transformation.”

The agenda will focus on two issues – the challenges faced by Columbian co-operatives and proposing actions that would improve the lives of Columbians.

Simel Esim, head of the International Labour Organisation’s unit on co-operatives, will deliver a presentation on the role of co-operatives in securing economic prosperity.

The event will also explore international case studies and local contexts, while examining the position of the national government regarding the co-operative sector.

The conference will feature a message from Ariel Guarco, president of the International Co-operative Alliance. Danilo Salerni, regional director of the Alliance’s office for the Americas, will also take part in a session examining how to advance towards a culture of co-operation.

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