ICA delegates backed a motion to build on the International Year of Co-operatives, by creating a co-operative decade.
The movement’s strategic document for the next eight years, the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade was approved by delegates at the ICA Extraordinary General Assembly held in Manchester on October 31 during Co-operatives United.
Director-General Charles Gould said he hoped the Blueprint can become an impetus for making the co-operative model "the acknowledged leader in economic, social and environmental sustainability"; “the model preferred by people” and “the fastest growing form of enterprise” by 2020. He added: “We have to build the co-operative message and secure the co-operative identity. Or else others will define co-ops.” (Read more about the Blueprint).
During the Assembly, delegates elected Dr Marta Sosa Heisele from Paraguay to the ICA Board of Directors. Dr Sosa Heisele has been a member of Cooperativa Universitaria for 15 years, which works with financial co-operatives in the country, and is currently the President of the university.
Members also voted on a move of the ICA Global Head Office to Brussels from its current Geneva base. President Dame Pauline Green also recommended, which was voted for unanimously, that the organisation sets itself up as an international non-profit association in Belgium.
It was also agreed that an adjustment in the membership formula should happen. This will mean that international and regional (supranational) federations or unions of co-operative organisations will be moved from Associate to full Member status; and that the transfer of such organisations be accompanied by a modest subscription adjustment.
Delegates backed the motion that called on the thematic ICA Committee on Co-operative Communication (ICACCC) and the ICA Human Resource Development Committee (ICAHRD) to be transformed into working groups connected to the work of the Director-General and staff.
The ICA Gender Equality Committee (ICAGEC) and the ICA Committee on Co-operative Research (ICACCR) retain their status as thematic committees; and a new thematic committee, the ICA Legislative Committee, be established to replace the ICA Legal Committee.