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The 11th Asia Pacific Cooperative Ministers Conference (APCMC) was held on 28 and 29 April 2024, marking the commencement of a crucial gathering aimed at fostering cooperation, dialogue, and actionable strategies to drive inclusive growth and sustainable development across the Asia Pacific (AP), Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.


Organized by the International Cooperative Alliance Asia-Pacific (ICA-AP) and hosted by the Jordan Co-operative Corporation and the Ministry of Agriculture, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan the conference brought together key stakeholders from government bodies, cooperative enterprises, civil society organizations, and international agencies. These included high-level Government officials from 17 countries (Egypt, Fiji, India, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, and UAE), and around 300 cooperative leaders and renowned experts from 28 countries and senior officials from the African-Asian Rural Development Organization, International Labour Organisation, and Food and Agriculture Organization united in their commitment to advancing the cooperative movement for the betterment of communities.


Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Dead Sea in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, this landmark event underscored the significance of cooperative-government partnerships in shaping the socio-economic landscape of the AP and MENA region.


Mr. Abdelfattah Al-Shalabi, Director General of JCC warmly welcomed all to the Conference at the Dead Sea, symbolizing safety and hospitality. He praised Jordanian King Abdullah II's role and highlighted Jordan's efforts to support cooperatives. He noted that the conference aims to discuss government-cooperative partnerships for cooperative resilience, sustainable development, and inclusive growth in Asia Pacific, Middle East, and North Africa. He emphasized Jordan's values of warmth and hospitality, fostering international cooperation.


In his address, Dr. Chandrapal Singh Yadav welcomed everyone to this historic conference in Jordan, the first in the Middle East, highlighting cooperatives' role in socio-economic development and the need for strong government-cooperative partnerships. He expressed his gratitude for the gracious hospitality extended by the hosts and said the conference aims to foster discussions, analyze partnerships, and strategize for sustainable development in Asia Pacific and MENA regions. He also touched upon the pivotal study undertaken by ICA-AP on enhancing government support for cooperatives. He noted that anticipation is high for the conference to yield actionable resolutions, enrich partnerships and advance towards shared goals of resilience and inclusivity.



His Excellency Khaled Mousa Shehadeh Alhuneafat, Minister of Agriculture, Jordan highlighted cooperatives' role in economic growth, youth employment, and women’s empowerment. He wished success to all attendees and said that Jordan extends its traditional hospitality with the greeting "Ya Hala".


The conference agenda encompassed various topics including the state of cooperatives in the Asia Pacific, enhancing government-cooperative partnerships, leveraging digitalization for inclusive growth, and promoting gender equality within the cooperative sector. Featuring interactive panel discussions and statements from government officials, it provided participants with ample opportunities to exchange insights, explore synergies, and co-create actionable solutions. The thematic sessions and statements from government officials of Fiji, the Philippines, Nepal, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Iran, Palestine, Morocco, Malaysia, Syria, Kuwait, Libya, Thailand, and Japan touched upon crucial issues like cooperative identity, cooperatives’ role in sustainable development, enhancing food security, facilitation of easy credit for communities, affordable healthcare, digitalization, opportunities for youth and women, contribution to national economies, Voluntary National Reviews, among others.


As part of the conference proceedings, a critical study has been commissioned to assess the current landscape of governmental support for cooperatives and identify opportunities for strengthening collaboration between state entities and cooperative enterprises. The research team, led by Dr. Yashvantha Dongre, Chairperson of the ICA-AP Research Committee, presented the outcomes of the study at the Conference. The study examined cooperatives as an alternative form of enterprise, especially in light of resolutions from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations (UN). Recognizing their importance, the UN designated 2025 as the second International Year of Cooperatives. The exploratory study was conducted across eight countries: India, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Nepal, Korea, and the Philippines. It focused on board perspectives and qualitative content analysis of documents provided by the stakeholders, revealing varying degrees of partnership between cooperatives and governments, with obstacles such as legislative barriers. The findings underscore the win-win nature of partnerships and the need for serious attention to UN resolutions, along with mechanisms for effective collaboration. The team recommended that governments should recognize cooperatives' role in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), fostering a culture of consultation in policy-making, and developing clear guidelines for government-cooperative partnerships, with emphasis on areas like healthcare, caregiving, youth, and women's empowerment. Sharing best practices globally was also highlighted for cooperative development.




The declaration endorsed at the 11th APCMC in Jordan on April 29, 2024, underscores the pivotal role of cooperatives in fostering economic growth, job creation, poverty alleviation, social inclusivity, and environmental sustainability across the Asia-Pacific region. Emphasizing the empowerment of individuals and marginalized communities, the declaration highlights the need for collaborative efforts between governments and integrated cooperatives, the promotion of cooperative-friendly policies, and alignment with the SDGs 2030 agenda. It also advocates for the preservation and promotion of the unique identity and business model of cooperatives, as well as enhancing cooperation among governments, cooperatives, and stakeholders to bolster the resilience of cooperatives in the region. The declaration was supported by all Asia-Pacific cooperative ministers present in person. It is now inviting proposals and suggestions from other representatives and is set to be officially adopted during the International Day of Cooperative in July 2024.


The 11th APCMC holds profound significance as the first-ever edition to be hosted in the Middle East region, underscoring the growing recognition of cooperative principles as a catalyst for sustainable development and social cohesion.


The ICA-AP sincerely thanks the Ministry of Agriculture and the Jordan Cooperative Corporation for their gracious hospitality and invaluable support in hosting this momentous event.