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October 25-26, 2017 – Ulan Bator, Mongolia

Engaging co-operatives in contributing to the UN Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals

SDG focus: 1 - No Poverty | 2 - Zero Hunger | 3 - Good Health & Well Being | 17 - Partnerships

Country focus: Brazil | China | Japan | Korea | Mongolia | Singapore | Vietnam

Sector Focus: Agriculture | Health | Partnerships



The Sub-Regional Co-operative Development Meeting (CDM) for East Asia is being organized on the theme Engaging co-operatives in contributing to the UN Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals. This meeting is being organized by the International Co-operative Alliance Asia and Pacific (ICA-AP) in collaboration with the ICA-EU Partnership on Co-operatives in Development: People Centered Businesses in Action (#coops4dev  on social media), Mongolian National Co-operative Alliance (MNCA), National Association of Mongolian Agricultural Co-operatives (NAMAC), Organization of Brazilian Co-operatives (OCB), and the Global Communities (GC) run Enabling Market Integration for Rural Group Empowerment (EMIRGE) Program.


This meeting will provide a platform for co-operative development actors to coordinate, enhance and broaden their work in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The emphasis will be on four of the seventeen global goals – 1) NO POVERTY; 2) ZERO HUNGER; 3) GOOD HEALTH and WELL BEING and 4) PARTNERSHIPS. The meeting will be attended by representatives of Alliance members in Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Singapore and Vietnam, governments, and international development agencies in order to:


  • Trigger potential synergies in development co-operation & build partnerships,
  • Institute a regional co-operative development network, and
  • Tackle priorities, policies and specificities affecting co-operatives.


The focus areas for the meeting are Agriculture, Health and Partnerships and the meeting approach is four pronged: Inform – Engage – Build – Commit.




The Alliance and the US Overseas Development Council jointly organized the global co-operative development meeting, under the mandate of the development partnership, on the theme: Co-operatives and International Development: How can Co-operatives and Mutuals do more and better together? The meeting was organized on the side lines of the International Summit on Co-operatives in October 2016 in Quebec, Canada. The key areas of deliberation during the meeting were:


  • Acknowledging socio-economic and geopolitical global trends and challenges;
  • Increasing our capacity to act – adapting to the new business reality;
  • Expanding our economic power – sectoral challenges and business opportunities;
  • Co-operatives in action to reach the SDGs. 


In the context of Asia and the Pacific region, given the diversity and geographical spread, it was decided to organize a series of sub-regional meetings in 2017 with all culminating in a joint co-operative development meeting in 2018. The first sub-regional co-operative development meeting was organized in February 2017 in collaboration with the Jordan Co-operative Corporation and the Economic and Social Development Council of Palestine for the sub-region covering Palestine, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE. The second meeting was organized in Manila on 6 & 7 September 2017 for the ASEAN sub region with the participation of Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. The third in this series of meetings will be organized in Ulan Bator, Mongolia and an Asia Pacific level co-operative development meeting is foreseen in the beginning of 2018 in one of the SAARC member States and will draw from the lessons, assess feedback from the various sub-regionals, and foster commitments made during the various meetings.


About East Asian Co-operative Development Meetings

  1. This activity is led by Alliance members MNCA, NAMAC, OCB and foresees the participation of members, stakeholders, civil society organizations, international agencies and representatives of  governments. 
  2. The deliberations and results of the meeting will be used at various policy processes that the Alliance represents through its members and staff.
  3. The meeting will deliberate on the Hanoi Asia Pacific Co-operative Minister’s Conference Resolution on Multi-Stakeholder Partnership in Realizing the SDGs
  4. The meeting offers to enhance capacities to develop synergies on monitoring, measuring and reporting on the contribution of co-operatives to the SDGs (via platforms such as and the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, and in the process foster (Principles) Co-operation among co-operatives & Concern for the Community in the socio-economic growth of the individual members and communities. The meeting also envisions the formation of an Asia Pacific Co-operative Development Network, to enhance linkages among co-operative actors working towards sustainable development. 
  5. The meeting aims at getting a better understanding of the current challenges and opportunities in regional groupings of nations and co-operative movements, to help achieve the results of the ICA-EU partnership agreement in terms of the formation of an effective regional co-operative development network and contribute toward the targets of the SDGs, particularly goal 17 – Partnership for the Goals.

  6. The Network (as in d.) is expected to position co-operatives towards international development and help the Alliance monitor polices and processes more efficiently and collect evidence from the ground on development programs.

  7. The duration of this meeting is 1.5 days, followed by field visit to co-operatives in Ulan Bator.



About the Organizers


ICA Asia and Pacific and the EU partnership

The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA or the Alliance), established in 1895 and currently headquartered in Brussels (Belgium) is the global umbrella organization that represents, unites and develops co-operatives across diverse sectors of economy influencing 1 in every almost 7 humans on this planet. The ICA represents 300 plus apex level federations and leading sectoral co-operative enterprises from over 100 countries. ICA Asia and Pacific, the regional arm of the Alliance was established in 1960 in New Delhi (India), services 96 Alliance members from 30 countries in Asia and the Pacific. The ICA AP regional board comprises of 11 elected members nominated by national co-operative movements across the region, and 1 co-opted member each from the Asia-Pacific Committees on Youth, and on Women. ICA is the custodian of the International Co-operative Identity Statement (Definition of Co-operatives, Values and the 7 Principles). In March 2016, the ICA and the European Union signed a  Framework Partnership Agreement to implement a development programme aimed at benefitting and advancing co-operatives worldwide. The ICA AP implements the programme in collaboration with Alliance members and partnerships with co-operative actors in the region. The ICA-EU partnership is envisioned to strengthen the institutional aspects of the Alliance viz. members and movements across the world.


Mongolian National Co-operative Alliance (MNCA)


MNCA was founded 8 May 2008 and is the national apex organisation representing co-operatives in Mongolia, and was established to provide leadership in sustainable development of the co-operative movement. MNCA aims to collaborate on the international level and with the Government of Mongolia, provide policy and advocacy for co-operatives, and lead implementation of the co-operative development strategy in Mongolia. They promote and encourage the movement in Mongolia, provide capacity building for co-operatives, and work on enabling environment for co-operative development. They have been successful in advocating for the national co-operative development program and strategy in Mongolia.


National Association of Mongolian Agricultural Cooperatives (NAMAC)


NAMAC is a non-governmental organization established (re-organized from the erstwhile Supreme Council of Agricultural Co-operatives)  in January 1992, and played a significant role in increasing agricultural production efficiency, improving living standard of rural population and developing educational and cultural welfare. NAMAC’s mission is to be the national body supporting the cooperation and mutual trust among the rural producers and to promote the favorable environment for cooperative development in Mongolia. The establishment of association of agricultural cooperatives opened new opportunities not only in cooperative development also in intensifying economy and cultural development as well as it increased the production capacity of the country.


Organization of Brazilian Cooperatives


The Brazilian Cooperative Organization which was created in 1969 represents and defends Brazilian cooperatives’ interests as neutral non-profit civil society organization. Law 5.5764/71 regulated the setting up of cooperatives, but restricted the autonomy of its members, and interfered in the creation, operation and oversight of cooperatives. These restrictions were revoked by the 1988 Constitution, which prohibited the interference of the State in associations, initiating the self-management of the cooperative enterprise. The mission of the OCB is to represent the Brazilian cooperative system while respecting diversity and to promote the economic efficiency and social efficacy of cooperatives. OCB shares its vision as being recognized as an entity of excellence that promotes the economic and social sustainability of Brazilian cooperatives and the people.


Global Communities


Global Communities, formerly known as CHF International and, before that, the Cooperative Housing Foundation, is a non-profit global development organization committed to working in partnership with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable, impactful changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable. Global Communities engages with communities, governments, the private sector, and NGOs as partners for good—bringing together complementary strengths and shared responsibilities to work toward common goals. Global Communities has existed for more than 60 years. Since 2002, Global Communities has been working in the peri-urban areas surrounding Mongolia’s largest cities. The  Enabling Market Integration for Rural Group Empowerment (EMIRGE)  program which began in Mongolia in September 2010 assists smallholder farmers in the dairy and vegetable value chains to increase their production yields. EMIRGE’s portfolio originally began with four cooperatives but has grown to 46 cooperatives and groups since the inception of the program.


Download the Programme