Ariel Guarco, Argentina, elected president of the International Co-operative Alliance

21 November 2017


Ariel Guarco, President of Cooperar, the Co-operative Confederation of Argentina has been elected president of the International Co-operative Alliance. The election took place today, Friday 17 November, at the International Co-operative Alliance’s General Assembly, which has taken place over the course of this week in Malaysia. Guarco received an overwhelming majority of the votes.

Guarco said: “It is a tremendous honour to be elected president of the Alliance. Our movement includes one billion people across the world. The Alliance needs to be the lighthouse that guides them. The global context requires us to go out on the pitch wearing the cooperative shirt and confront warmongering, speculators and those controlling the economy, who are taking humanity on a road without return, with our coherence, trajectory, and diversity.”

Guarco has been a board member of the Alliance since 2013. His organisation Cooperar works with 67 cooperative federations, 5,000 cooperatives, and ten million members in Argentina.

In his acceptance speech Guarco said: “Cooperatives are enterprises that have a double function, on the one hand they must be economically viable, compete in the market and do it as well or better than enterprises that seek profitability as the ultimate goal. And on the other hand, they need to be socially responsible, helping to improve the quality of life of our members and faithful to our principle of commitment to the community, to society as a whole”. Access the full speech of the President of the Alliance here

Guarco says his priorities at the Alliance will be to strengthen the interactions between its regional and sectoral organisations, as well as consolidating youth and gender spaces. He also wants to improve the quality and quantity of information given to members on income, balance sheets, and projects – and in doing so, empower organisations when it comes to decision-making.

Guarco takes over from Monique F. Leroux (both shown together in photo), who has led the Alliance since 2015. During her leadership, the Alliance sought to make the cooperative movement’s voice heard in international forums and at major economic gatherings. Cooperatives were represented by the Alliance at various events including B20 meetings, the International Economic Forum of the Americas’ Conference in Montreal and high-level events at the United Nations, the Business 20 (B20).

Ms Leroux said: “It was my great privilege to spend the past few years working with a devoted and committed board of directors that feels so strongly about advancing cooperative businesses. The Alliance is certainly in a decent position to continue moving towards objectives that, ultimately, will help make our world a better place.”

The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) is the representative body for the cooperative and mutual insurance sector at the Alliance and was represented this week at the Alliance’s Conference by Faye Lageu, Senior Vice-President, Business Intelligence.

Shaun Tarbuck, Chief Executive Officer, ICMIF said: “It has been a great pleasure to work closely with Monique for many years and she has always been a much appreciated supporter and collaborator in the work that we do at ICMIF. We were delighted to have had Monique join us at the ICMIF Biennial Conference in London last month. The energy and expertise that she has dedicated to the cooperative sector as a whole is immense. I would like to extend my congratulations and welcome to Ariel in his new role as President of the Alliance. We wish him a very successful term of office as President.”

The Alliance’s Global Conference and General Assembly brought together more than 1,800 cooperators from around the world to discuss the role of the sector in placing people at the centre of development. Keynote speakers included sustainable development pioneer and former Prime Minister of Norway, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, and economist Linda Yueh.

A full new board was also elected at the General Assembly.

Source: The International Co-operative Alliance

Photo source: The International Co-operative Alliance

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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