The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) has announced that the 33rd World Cooperative Congress will be held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea from 1 to 3 December 2021. The theme for this event will be “Deepening our Cooperative Identity” to strengthen the cooperative movement’s role in addressing global challenges and also explore avenues to improve lives at the local and global levels.

The original Congress was due to be held in November 2020 in Seoul but had to postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. This year marks both the 125th anniversary of the ICA, which was founded in 1895 to promote the interests of cooperatives worldwide, and the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the ICA Statement on the Cooperative Identity which was adopted on 21 September 1995.

Ariel Guarco, the President of the ICA, said: “I’m delighted to confirm that the 33rd World Cooperative Congress will go ahead next year in Seoul. This will be an opportunity to share experiences of resilience in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss how cooperatives can overcome other global challenges from climate change to gender equality. Together we can create a better, fairer and more inclusive world for generations to come.”

All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives (ACFSMC) have signed on as the premiere Pillar Partner for this event. This signals ASFSMC ‘s commitment to make this event a success and their dedication to bringing together the cooperative movement during a challenging yet critical time.   

Li Chunsheng, the president of ICA Asia and Pacific (ICA AP), and also Vice President of ASFSMC  said: “This event will allow the cooperative movement to strengthen our relationships with each other, our role in improving the global economy, and to share with our partners that we have proven solutions to many of the global challenges the world is facing today.”

To learn more about the event, cooperators, sponsors and interested visitors can visit the new dedicated website here: .

Park Cha Hoon, President of the Council of Korean Cooperatives, co-hosts for this event, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming cooperators to Seoul. At the 33rd World Cooperative Congress we will get a glimpse of what cooperative identity means for Korean cooperatives, and how co-ops can help drive sustainable development in communities.”

Mr Guarco added: “Cooperation is not only good for addressing crises. Cooperation is the alternative way to build a fairer, more balanced and, fundamentally, less fragile economy in the face of global challenges. Our cooperative identity, values and principles have remained strong and are the foundation for cooperatives worldwide to help their communities survive and cope following the pandemic.’”