International Cooperative Alliance

The International Cooperative Alliance unites, represents and serves cooperatives worldwide.

Founded in 1895, it is one of the oldest non-governmental organisations and one of the largest ones measured by the number of people represented: 1.2 billion cooperative members on the planet.

It is the apex body representing cooperatives, which are estimated to be around 3 million worldwide, providing a global voice and forum for knowledge, expertise and co-ordinated action for and about cooperatives. Read more about our mission here

The International Cooperative Alliance works with global and regional governments and organisations to create the legislative environments that allow cooperatives to form and grow.

Ø The global cooperative network

A total of 312 organisations from 109 countries are members of the International Cooperative Alliance.

The ICA’s members are international and national cooperative organisations from all sectors of the economy, namely agriculture, banking, consumer, fisheries, health, housing, insurance, and industry & services.

Ø Cooperative identity

The ICA is the guardian of the Statement on the Cooperative Identity, which includes a definition, 10 values and 7 operational principles: it is the minimum common denominator for all cooperatives in all sectors and all regions.

Ø A rooted structure

To implement its activities, the International Cooperative Alliance is organised with a Global Office based in Brussels, four Regional Offices (Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe), eight Global Sectoral Organisations (agriculture, banking, retail, fisheries, health, housing, insurance, and industry & services), and five Committees and Networks (gender, research, law, youth, and development).

Ø A committed team

The staff of the ICA and of its regional and sectoral bodies are based in various locations around the globe and are committed to helping members and the cooperative movement. 

Ø Organigram of the ICA 


Since its establishment, the International Cooperative Alliance has developed a variety of internal entities aimed at ensuring that we remain responsive to serving members in the most efficient manner possible.

The ICA consists of a governing Board, a General Assembly, four Regions, and eight Sectoral Organisations and several thematic committees and networks.

Ø President

Ariel Guarco (Argentina)










 Mr. Guarco is also the President of the Federation of Electric and Public Services Cooperatives of the Province of Buenos Aires (FEDECOBA) since 2008. He’s the President of the Cooperative Confederation of the Argentine Republic since 2011. He’s Member of the International Co-operative Alliance’s Global Board since 2013 and Deputy Vice-President of Cooperatives of the Americas since 2014. He is the author of the book “The Argentine Cooperative Movement – A hopeful Look into the Future”. He has been elected president of the International Co-operative Alliance during the Alliance’s General Assembly held on 17 in Malaysia.

Asia-Pacific - Chunsheng Li












 Mr. Chunsheng was re-elected as President of ICA-AP at their last Regional Assembly held in New Delhi (India) on 18 November 2016 for a period of four years. He has served on the Alliance Board as Vice President for Asia-Pacific since 2007. He is currently the Vice President of All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives (ACFSMC). During his long period of service, he worked with Helihe farm in Heilongjiang Province, Forest Affairs Bureau and the State Council of China respectively, through which he gained rich experience on agricultural, management and leadership capacity. During his tenure at ACFSMC, he held major posts at the Farm Inputs Bureau, the Department of International Cooperation and the Vice President of ACFSMC.

Ø Regional and Sectoral organisations

Operating from a global office in Brussels, Belgium, the ICA is organised with four Regional Offices: Europe (in Brussels), Africa (in Nairobi), Americas (in San José) & Asia-Pacific (in New Delhi). Each regional office pursues the same goals: representing the International Cooperative Alliance in their part of the world and providing resources to its members. Their work benefits from the International Cooperative Development Program #coops4dev, a five years’ partnership between the ICA and the European Commission.

The ICA is also organised with eight Sectoral organisations in agriculture, banking, retail, fisheries, health, housing, insurance, and industry & services. Each sectoral body provides resources to their members, as well as conducts surveys and researches to document and improve the cooperative model.



Ø Committees and networks of the ICA

The International Cooperative Alliance’s committees and networks are the think tanks of the ICA. Composed of experienced and dedicated cooperators affiliated with members, committees and networks are on the basis of data, reports, and guidelines that benefit cooperators everywhere.

=        Gender Equality Committee

The Gender Equality Committee (ICA GEC) is a thematic committee of the International Cooperative Alliance which promotes equality between women and men and gender integration in the co-operative movement and society. It was formerly known as the Alliance's Global Women's Committee.

=        Committee on Cooperative Research

The ICA Committee on Cooperative Research (ICACCR) is a bridge between academic research and the cooperative world. The ICACCR aims to raise awareness of cooperative research, particularly to managers and cooperators so that it can be applied effectively to current cooperative issues.

=        Cooperative Law Committee

The Cooperative Law Committee gives independent advice to the ICA on cooperative law, broadly defined to include all legal rules that shape the cooperative institution and regulate its operations.

=        Youth Network

The International Cooperative Alliance's Youth Network aims to help young cooperators from different countries to connect, share experiences and ideas, as well as to provide an environment where young cooperators can learn more about the wider cooperative movement. Involving young people from outside the movement through education and support is a key focus of the work of this network. The network also looks to empower young cooperators to engage with the rest of the movement to both raise the profile of youth issues and to ensure the youth perspective is presented during wider discussions.

=        International Cooperative Development Platform

The objective of the International Cooperative Development Platform (ICDP) is to promote and support the initiation and furtherance of international cooperative development activities within and among cooperative development organisations, so as to enhance their collaboration as well as social and economic effectiveness.

The Platform serves as a forum for the discussion and exchange of experiences and knowledge on issues related to international cooperative development, the promotion of the cooperative model towards development actors and international institutions, as well as the cooperation within development programs and partnerships.

Ø General Assembly





















 The General Assembly is the highest authority of the International Cooperative Alliance and is made up of representatives appointed by International Cooperative Alliance member organisations.

In 2019, the General Assembly of the ICA will be held in Kigali, Rwanda. Click here for more information.

The General Assembly of ICA meets at regular intervals to:

=        formulate and implement policy on major issues affecting the International Cooperative Alliance & the global cooperative movement

=        approve the ICA's Strategic Plan & financial framework

=        elect the President and the Board, ratify the elections of the Vice-Presidents, the sectoral organisation & youth representatives to the Board

=        appoint the external auditor

=        ratify the appointment or removal of the Director-General on the recommendation of the Board

=        amend the ICA Statutes and By-Laws by a majority of two-thirds of the votes represented

=        decide on membership subscriptions & representation formulae

=        approve the International Cooperative Alliance's annual audited accounts

=        confirm all dispositions taken by the Board, or by any other unincorporated regional or sectoral entity of the ICA, which imposes liabilities or obligations on International Cooperative Alliance, such as investments, borrowings, mortgages, buying and selling of real estate, as well as other agreements

=        approve the establishment or dissolution of International Cooperative Alliance regions, their respective Regional Assemblies, Sectoral Organisations & Thematic Committees on the recommendation of the Board

=        decide upon the dissolution of the International Cooperative Alliance by a majority of two-thirds of the votes represented.

Ø Articles of Association and Bylaws

The International Cooperative Alliance's Articles of Association and Bylaws define the organisation, its structure and operating policies.

The current Bylaws were amended and adopted by ICA members at the General Assembly held in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2019.

The current Articles of Association were amended and adopted at the General Assembly held in Brussels, Belgium in December 2019.

Ø The global cooperative network



 Around 312 organisations from around 109 countries are members of the International Cooperative Alliance.

The ICA’s members are international and national cooperative organisations from all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, banking, consumer, fisheries, health, housing, insurance, and industry & services.

Why is it important?

We are providing cooperatives with global reach to strengthen your movement locally:

=        Global networking - meet and share ideas with the largest range of organisations and cooperatives in terms of sectors and size. Visit our Event section for networking opportunities

=        Global best practice - improve the performance of your cooperative organization by learning and adopting the latest best practices globally in cooperative governance, funding, marketing, etc. Visit our News section and subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates about the cooperative movement!

=        Global representation - get the tools to strengthen your own advocacy and be part of the global advocacy of the ICA and its regions and sectors. We ensure issues important to your business sector and the cooperative movement are understood and acted on at a global level with representation at the United Nations, G20, etc. Access our Global advocacy section for more information.

=        Global decision-making – ensure that you take part in the global decision-making process regarding the strategy of the international cooperative movement by visiting Our structure section.

The one subscription fee entitles members to participate in all the structures of the ICA that are relevant for their cooperative or cooperative organisation.


In recent years, ICC has been an active member of ICA and currently is a member of the board of ICA-AP and works closely with it.
























 The 2018 ICA-AP Regional Assembly (RA) was the outstanding event in cooperative sector of Iran that was held by ICC at IRIB International Conference Center in Tehran, Iran on November 29, 2018.