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In 2020, we mark 60 years of ICA in the Asia-Pacific region, working hand-in-hand with our members to grow and enhance the cooperative movement. Over the years, ICA-AP has worked across many sectors and focused on key development areas such as gender equality, youth inclusion, entrepreneurship, and capacity building. This month, we highlight the work undertaken by ICA-AP during its 5th decade.


Overview of the 5th Decade


ICA-AP’s fifth decade began at the start of the new millennium in 2000. The period 2000 to 2010 was marked by highs and lows caused by natural disasters and manmade crises.  The natural disasters included an earthquake in Gujarat (2001); tsunami in India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka (2004); cyclone in Myanmar, and an earthquake in China (2008). The 2008 economic crisis was the worst since the Great Depression in the 1930s caused by deregulation in the financial industry. The ICA-AP and its members were able to respond proactively to these crises by raising resources, carrying out projects, and bringing members together to share their experiences in addressing the crisis.


The Regional Assemblies and Cooperatives Forums during the decade touched upon the issues which were of importance to cooperatives -  Cooperatives in the 21st Century: Are We Changing (2000), Cooperatives: Past 10 Years and 10 Years Ahead (2003), Re-engineering Cooperatives in the Globalised Economy (2004), Capacity Building: The Priority for Cooperative Enterprises (2006), Cooperative Advantage in the Economy of Asia & the Pacific (2008), and Cooperatives – The Sector of Global Importance (2010).


After having members from most countries, South Asia and Southeast Asia, the regional office made extensive forays into the Middle East and Central Asia. These efforts resulted in members from Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and the UAE.


In the last month and last year of the decade, the United Nations proclaimed 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives!


Below is the timeline of some major activities carried out during the decade.