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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
and implement policy on major issues affecting the International Cooperative
Alliance & the global cooperative movement
approve the ICA's Strategic Plan & financial framework
the President and the Board, ratify the elections of the Vice-Presidents, the
sectoral organisation & youth representatives to the Board
the external auditor
the appointment or removal of the Director-General on the recommendation of the
the ICA Statutes and By-Laws by a majority of two-thirds of the votes
on membership subscriptions & representation formulae
approve the International Cooperative Alliance's annual audited accounts
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
the establishment or dissolution of International Cooperative Alliance regions,
their respective Regional Assemblies, Sectoral Organisations & Thematic
Committees on the recommendation of the Board
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.
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
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
IRAN and ICA
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.