The ILO and cooperatives 1919Albert Thomas, a convinced cooperator, becomes ILOs first Director-General 1920Establishment of the Cooperative Branch 1960Technical cooperation begins 1966Recommendation No. 127 is adopted 1998The Decent Work paradigm 2002Recommendation No. 193 is adopted 2003Juan Somavia addresses ICA General Assembly 2004ICA and ILO sign Memorandum of Understanding
From Rec. 127 to Rec. 193: Changing Context Globalization and local response; Stronger civil society; Revised cooperative principles New development paradigms (MDGs, PRSP, Decent Work) The emancipation of cooperatives Rec. 127 limited to developing countries
A Recommendation is… A Recommendation is… …not binding, but Governments shall: bring the text to the attention of relevant national authorities inform the ILO of the actions taken by these authorities keep the ILO up-to-date on the position of law and practice regarding the domain addressed by the Recommendation
Universal Relevance It is recognized that cooperatives operate in all sectors of the economy. This Recommendation applies to all types and forms of cooperatives. Paragraph 1:
Universal Relevance Social objectives Community Values and Principles Economic objectives BusinessCompetitiveness
Principles and Values Policy and legal frameworks to be guided by cooperative values and principles Cooperative autonomy to be respected and encouraged Common definition with the ICA, values and principles cited, identity statement annexed
Equal Treatment Cooperatives should be treated in accordance with national law and practice and on terms no less favourable than those accorded to other forms of enterprise and social organization Paragraph 7 (2):
The role of Government Provide a conducive policy and legal environment Grant support when justified by special circumstances Strengthen cooperative performance Develop partnerships
The role of employers organizations Extend membership and provision of services to cooperatives wishing to join
The role of workers organizations Assist cooperative employees to join trade unions Assist trade union members to establish cooperatives Participate in setting up cooperatives to create or maintain employment Promote productivity, equality of opportunity and rights of worker-members Undertake education and training
The role of cooperative organizations Work with social partners to create a favourable climate for cooperative development Provide technical, commercial and financial support services Promote the horizontal and vertical integration of cooperatives Invest in human resource development Represent cooperatives at the international level, and encourage international collaboration
Promotional Material Text of R. 193 to all ICA member organizations and ILO field offices; Text published on five Internet sites; Background paper and PowerPoint presentation published in three languages on CD-ROM and shared with ILO offices and development partners; Newspaper articles published in 11 countries, and guides produced in six countries; Wall calendar printed (1,000 copies); Courses based on Rec. 192 launched by ITC Turin (March 2003 and September 2004)
Translations of R. 193 Arabic Chinese Czech French English German Greek Hindi Indonesian Italian Japanese Mongolian Norwegian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Spanish Suaheli Turkish Lithuanian Finnish
Seven Global meetings ILO Governing Body members; ICA regional directors; 25 agencies involved in cooperative development; Board meeting of the Committee on the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives; Global cooperative research conference with 54 universities; International Labour Conference 2003; ICA General Assembly Oslo 2003.
A useful instrument Cooperatives: to defend their autonomy; Cooperative members: to demand good governance in cooperatives; Governments: to revise cooperative polices and laws; Civil society: to advocate policy changes; Trade unions: to promote cooperatives among members; Employers: to broaden outreach.
Some results Guinea-Bissau: new cooperative policy formalized; Romania: autonomy of cooperatives maintained; Turkey: right of workers to create consumer coops in large enterprises has been maintained; South Africa: new cooperative policy and strategy developed; Russia: parliamentary hearing on cooperative development organized on the basis of Rec. 193; Canada (Québec): New cooperative development strategy makes explicit reference to Rec. 193; Colombia: Rec. 193 incorporated into the national development plan. Revival of the cooperative concept in the ILO!
Final word Cooperatives empower people by enabling even the poorest segments of the population to participate in economic progress; they create job opportunities for those who have skills but little or no capital; and they provide protection by organizing mutual help in communities