ICA-AP REGIONAL ASSEMBLY AND REGIONAL BOARD ELECTIONS
2021 was a momentous year for ICA-AP. After the postponement of the Regional Assembly and Regional Board elections in 2020, the members got an opportunity to meet in a hybrid mode and elect a new board in 2021.
The ICA-AP Regional Board in its meeting in October 2020 had approved holding the Regional Assembly in two parts – the 14th Regional Assembly to be held online in February 2021 and the elections for the new Regional Board to be held in-person at the 15th Regional Assembly in conjunction with the 33rd ICA World Cooperative Congress in December 2021 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
The 14th ICA-AP Regional Assembly was held online on 24 February to consider administrative issues and approve the postponement of the ICA-AP Regional Board elections. The online assembly was attended by more than 110 participants from 18 countries – Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Jordon, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Palestine, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Mr. Li Chunsheng, President of ICA-AP, chaired the assembly. The members remembered colleagues and cooperative leaders like Mr. Sethu Madhavan, Dr. T. Paranjothi, Mr. Prem Kumar, Mr. Kwek Kok Kwong, and Royal Professor Ungku A. Aziz who we lost in 2020.
The key activities carried out since the last Regional Assembly in Tehran (ICA-MAFF Japan Training Project; ICA-EU Project; 2nd Asia Pacific Cooperatives Registrars’ Forum in 2019 in Vietnam; efforts to expand the membership in the Pacific, Central Asia and Middle East Asia regions; trainings, seminars, and workshops carried out; and celebration of the 60th anniversary), along with the financial reports of 2018 and 2019 and the membership situation were presented to the members. The Regional Assembly approved the postponement of the Regional Board elections. The election had to be postponed due to COVID-19 imposed travel restrictions in 2020 and can only take place in-person as per ICA rules.
The 15th ICA-AP Regional Assembly was held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea on 30 November in a hybrid manner to approve administrative issues and conduct elections of the new ICA-AP Regional Board. It was attended by more than 130 participants from 20 countries – Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Jordon, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Palestine, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Mr. Li Chunsheng, President of ICA-AP, chaired the assembly. Mr. Sung-Hee Lee, Chairman, NACF, Korea, the host country, shared his welcome remarks. Mr. Ariel Guarco attended the ICA-AP Regional Assembly and took that opportunity to welcome the ICA-AP delegates to the World Cooperative Congress. Highlighting the region’s importance, he said, “I am convinced that your region will continue to be an important pillar for the global cooperative movement.”
The key activities carried out since the last Regional Assembly in February, the financial report of 2020 and the membership situation were presented to the members. The members were informed about the elections schedule, exception requests by members to vote, and the elections committee. Mr. Iyer demonstrated the electronic voting system to all the members.
The various ICA-AP regional and thematic committees – Consumer Cooperation, Credit and Banking, Education, Research, Trade and Business, and Youth Committee held their office bearers’ meetings and elections on 28 and 29 November and presented brief updates during the assembly.
The Regional Board elections took place in two phases, phase 1 was the election of Regional Board members and phase 2, election of ICA-AP Vice Presidents and President. The elections committee appointed to oversee the process included Drs. Robby Tulus - ex Regional Director, ICA-AP; Professor. Seungkwon Jang - Professor of Business Administration, Department of Management of Cooperatives, Graduate School Cooperative MBA, Graduate School of Social Economy, Sungkonghoe University, Korea; and Ms. Stefania Marcone - Chief of International Relations and European Policy, Legacoop, Italy.
Phase 1 elections had 12 nominations from Australia, China, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Palestine, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. For phase 2 elections, three nominations were received for the position of Vice-Presidents from China, Iran, and Malaysia and two nominations were received for the position of President from India and Japan.
ICA-AP New Regional Board (2021-24)
There are 13 board members of who 11 are directly elected by the Regional Assembly; the chairpersons of the Committee on Women and Committee on Youth Cooperation are co-opted to represent cross-cutting sectors.