The International Co-operative Alliance General Assembly was held in Cancun, Mexico, between 14 – 18 November 2011 with over 2000 co-operators from 78 countries. During the Assembly there was the official global co-operative launch of the International Year of Co-operatives on 16 November 2011.
Mutuals – Delegates supported a resolution to admit mutuals to the ICA – provided they operate in conformity with the co-operative principles. The ICA will examine membership applications submitted by mutuals on a case-by-case basis.
UN Advisory Committee on IYC 2012 – The President of the International Co-operative Alliance, Dame Pauline Green, will chair the United Nations Advisory Group on the International Year of the Co-operatives. The group is comprised of 20 co-operatve leaders and will provide guidance, support and assistance to the UN Coordinating Committee.
Social Media – The ICA launched two new websites for 2012 – www.2012.coop which will ultimately replace www.ica.coop and www.stories.coop which is a partnership with the European Research Institute on Co-operative and Social Enterprise (EURICSE).
Co-operative ICA – The ICA will initiate consultations with its members to determine whether it should be incorporated as a co-operative or as an association when it moves its headquarters from Geneva to Brussels, Belgium.
Co-operative Principles – A proposal to add the words “and environmental sustainability to the Seventh Co-operative Principle Concern for Community led to consideration of a process for amending the principles. Delegates voted to refer to the ICA board the resolution and a process for amendments to be considered by the special meeting of the General Assembly in Manchester, UK, in 2012.
Sustainable – Delegates voted overwhelmingly in support of a resolution urging ICA members to use sustainable timber and forest products.
Institute on Co-ops and Peace – Delegates supported a resolution to support efforts by Canadian co-op historian Ian MacPherson to establish an institute to study the role co-operatives play in fostering peace and social cohesion.
Rochdale – Delegates supported a resolution to designate Rochdale, UK, as the World Capital of Co-operatives. The motion was adopted with no debate.