The International Summit of Cooperatives kicked off with an exciting ceremony attended by many prominent figures.
The evening was a true tribute to the theme of the event: “The Amazing Power of Cooperatives.”
Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO of Desjardins Group in Canada, opened the ceremony by saying that cooperatives are pillars of a pluralistic economy and they must assume their rightful place by being bold and determined alongside the major economic decision-makers of the world.
Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in Switzerland, said that the International Year of Cooperatives is a wonderful gift bestowed upon cooperators and mutualists around the world, by the United Nations, that it is a stepping stone that will allow us, for the first time ever, to share just how significant the cooperative model is in the economy and to demonstrate its values to others. Dame Green closed by saying that the ICA will be announcing a new project that will promote the power of cooperatives, in the coming decade.
Dr. J. Colin Dodds, President and Vice Chancellor of Saint Mary’s University in Canada, said that it is the leaders of tomorrow who will prove that the cooperative model is a viable and sustainable solution. And that together, we must spread the message–far and wide: “The Amazing Power of Cooperatives.”
In addition to the three Summit hosts, several prominent figures spoke at the opening ceremony: Pauline Marois, Premier of Quebec; Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec; and Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Quebec City.
And with performances by La Maîtrise des Petits chanteurs de Québec and the Quebec Gospel Celebration Choir, it made for an inspiring and celebratory evening.