Acknowledging the overwhelming global impact of the pandemic, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) has created the ICA G20 Working Group to bring cooperatives’ voice to G20 Summit discussions that will take place in October 2021 in Rome, Italy. This will build on previous participation, advocacy and recommendations submitted to G20 leaders, which have referenced and impacted cooperatives.
The G20 Engagement Groups will discuss and develop action-oriented policy recommendations that will be conveyed to G20 leaders for consideration, adoption and implementation. The ICA G20 Working Group is joining forces with members of the Italian Cooperative Alliance to contribute to these discussions, particularly involving Business 20 (B20) and Civil Society 20 (C20) task forces.
“The ICA G20 Working Group will help create a more significant impact and amplify cooperatives’ voices to influence and be included in the recommendations submitted to heads of state and governments at the G20 Summit,” said ICA General Director Bruno Roelants. “Members from 13 G20 countries are currently represented in the group, we look forward to welcoming more participants from the remaining countries.”
The ICA G20 Working Group was established under the leadership of a coordinating chairperson and two vice-chairs. During its first meeting in late March, members appointed Howard Brodsky, Co-Founder, Chairman and Co-CEO of CCA Global Partners as chair of ICA G20 Working Group. Brodsky is a longtime board director of NCBA CLUSA.
“Cooperatives’ role could not be more critical than now, as the world is going through a pandemic,” Brodsky said. “Cooperatives are quite important and meaningful to people worldwide, yet so little is known about them and what they do. Therefore, having a stake in the G20 engagements is a very opportune time for us to share what cooperatives do and how [they] solve some of the global challenges that have been on the rise, and how they contribute to equality and democratic voice to everybody,” he added.
“Having a stake in the G20 engagements is a very opportune time for us to share what cooperatives do and how [they] solve some of the global challenges that have been on the rise.” – Howard Brodsky
The vice-chairs will coordinate the discussions for the B20 or C20, and their position will rotate, depending on the country hosting the G20 presidency each year. The vice-chairs and the B20 and C20 taskforce facilitators from the Italian Cooperative Alliance are:
- Vice-Chair for B20 taskforces: Alessandro Hinna, President of Consorzio Nazionale dei Servizi, a National Consortium of Service Cooperatives and Associate Professor at the University of Rome.
- B20 taskforces facilitator: Stefania Marcone, Chief International Relations & European Policies, Legacoop Italy.
- Vice-Chair for C20 taskforces: Giuseppe Guerini, President of CECOP CICOPA-Europe.
- C20 taskforces facilitator: Danila Curcio, Head of International Institutional Relations, Confcooperative.
Cooperative representatives are taking part in four of the eight B20 taskforces. This includes:
- Employment and Education;
- Energy and Resource Efficiency;
- Health and Life Sciences; and
- Action Council on Sustainability and Global Emergencies.
Simultaneously, cooperative representatives will participate in all eight of the C20 taskforces, which include:
- Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development;
- Global Health;
- Climate, Biodiversity and Ecological Transition;
- Global Citizenship and Education;
- Digitalization; and
Cooperatives have been participating in the previous editions of B20 with taskforce representatives to ensure they are recognized as key contributors to solving the world’s challenges. Their participation and advocacy have resulted in several references to and recognition of cooperatives in the final B20 policy papers submitted to the G20 leaders.
These cooperative representatives achieved a key milestone by increasing awareness about cooperatives among business leaders, resulting in a broader understanding of the role and importance of cooperatives as a fundamental actor in enhancing sustainable development.