The focus of the meeting was the election of a new board member, following the resignation earlier this year of Len Wardle, the former chair of the UK’s Co-operative Group.
Nine candidates campaigned for the position, which was open to individuals nominated by co-operatives in membership of the Alliance.
Dame Pauline Green, presiding over the meeting, praised the level of contest. “There is a resurgence in the democracy of the International Co-operative Alliance, it’s vey heartening,” she said, adding there was a sense of excitement in the room about the outcome of the vote.
A total of 129 voters from 71 countries participated in the vote, either in person at the meeting or in advance by proxy.
The outcome saw the election of Mr Aditya Yadav, nominated by the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative (IFFCO), who received 136 votes.
The other candidates were: Nicholas Hadjiyiannis (Cyprus, withdrawn); Prof Valentín Medrano (Dominican Republic, 66 votes); Hervé Guider (Belgium,18); Zakaria Motevalli (Iran, 12); Ismail Kamarudin (Malaysia, 65); Joseph Adeleke Ojeyemi (Nigeria, 72); Janusz Paszkowski (Poland, 65); and Vivian Woodell (UK, 48).
Mr Yadav chairs the Uttar Pradesh Co-operative Federation in India, which is part of IFFCO, an agricultural co-operative that stretches across India and has over 39,000 local and regional co-operatives in membership.
“I am truly delighted and honoured to have been chosen by my colleagues to serve on the Alliance’s board,” said Mr Yadav. “This is an extremely exciting time for the co-operative movement and the Alliance is working hard to drive and develop the co-operative model. I look forward to the future and to helping the Alliance in its goal of uniting, representing and serving co-operatives worldwide.”
He will join a board of directors that includes the chief executives of some of the world’s largest co-operatives, such as Desjardin’s Monique Leroux from Canada, Seah Kian Peng of NTUC Fairprice in Singapore and Gregory Wall from Australia’s Capricorn.
In addition to the election, the annual meeting approved the Alliance’s 2013 annual accounts, which included the Alliance’s own accounts as well as those of its subsidiary and partner organisations, Domains.coop and Cooperatives Europe.
Kathy Bardswick, chief executive of the Canadian insurers the Co-operators, Alliance board member and chair of its risk committee, reported a net income of €76,787 (£60,300, US$96,300) for the Alliance, noting that the bulk of this was income generated from the sale of .coop domains by Domains.coop.
A new auditor firm was also recommended to the meeting and subjected to a vote, following dissatisfaction at the previous meeting in Capetown where, said Dame Pauline, delegates “expressed concern” at the process and choice of auditing firms.
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