The World Cooperative Congress has been postponed and will be held from 1-3 March 2021 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
The International Co-operative Alliance, which is organising the event, has made the decision in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown measures.
It says when the event is held next year, it will be “an opportunity to look back and validate the co-operative movement’s resilience, leadership and solidarity during times of crisis.”
This event, it adds, will serve as an important forum to:
- Discuss why the co-operative identity, including definition, principles and values, is needed now more than ever;
- Show co-operative resilience by sharing experiences and testimonies; and
- Discuss how co-operatives can significantly contribute to the global economic, social and environmental reconstruction.
The Congress will keep to its original theme, ‘Deepening our Cooperative Identity.’
“Looking beyond the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the ICA, “we look forward to deepening our understanding of how our co-operative identity has enabled us to tackle this crisis and how we will overcome other global challenges like climate change, sustainable development, peace and equality. Together, we can co-operate to create a better, fairer and more inclusive world for generations to come.”
The ICA added that World Cooperative Congresses are “historical moments” for the movement, and this event celebrate the ICA’s 125th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of the Statement on the Cooperative Identity. It is expecting about 2,000 participants consisting of ICA members and co-operators from around the world.
“We will discuss an array of themes that are linked to the co-operative identity and will be useful both for co-operatives’ positioning at the national and international level,” it says.
This comes at a time “when the recognition of our specificities is increasingly difficult” and organisers hope the event will help co-ops learn how to better use the co-operative identity to do business and increase their business sales in a context of global competition.
To this end, a number of high-quality papers and studies will be prepared and presented, it adds.
The Congress itself will be preceded by two preparatory events: the ICA Cooperative Research Conference (26-27 February 2021) and an International Cooperative Law Forum (27-28 February 2021), which will discuss themes related to the Congress. Several other side events will also be organised.
More information is promised soon; the new dates “are subject to be further rescheduled should the pandemic make it necessary for force majeure,” adds the ICA.