Dame Pauline is in Valencia today to receive the prestigious Pepe Miquel Valencia award for lifetime achievement on behalf of ICA members whose work she said was behind today’s award.
It is the first time that an institution has received this award in its eight year history.
“I am conscious that this award is given to the ICA for the work that it has done over its 117 year history as steward of the values and principles of our global movement and for its work to drive the development of co-operatives across the world,” Dame Pauline said. “But in reality, it also represents the intrinsic recognition of the work of the billions of individual co-operators who are the real heroes and heroines.”
“It is their work over the last century and a half and today, that has helped to reduce conflict, embed democracy, build community cohesion, build skills and expertise, develop local leadership potential, support women into positions of economic activity and leadership in their communities – in effect they have been building civil society – all with the intellectual underpinning of the value of common endeavour in sustainable member-owned, local enterprises – in effect they have helped to take millions out of poverty with dignity, by helping them to build their own co-operative enterprises.”
Once again ICA members and co-operators worldwide are being called upon to provide the economic solutions to a stagnant local and global economy, said Dame Pauline, who visited who today visited two examples of growing cooperative businesses with strong financial results, Anecoop and Consum in Valencia.
“This is the first time the prize is awarded to an institution, and it coincides with the declaration of 2012 as the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives,” said Confederacio de Cooperatives, which made the award.