As Cooperatives Europe recently addressed, the cooperative movement is one of “intense collaboration, of common understanding and mutual respect”, and at the same time, cooperation relies on a “stable international community, based on rules and principles that should not be undermined”.
Therefore, we condemn the use of military force against any civilian population and call on the international community to bring peace and advocate for diplomatic solutions to prevent the suffering of millions of innocent people. The conflict, like it is happening in other places on our planet where armed conflicts persist, has created a humanitarian crisis that mobilises us.
The ICA is working to connect cooperatives around the world who can offer aid and support in this time of great need. We would like to encourage others to join with us in this vital effort to mitigate the hardships being inflicted on the Ukrainian people.
Advocating for the immediate cessation of violence in Ukraine, we continue to call on governments, international organizations, and civil society organizations in general to build a positive global agenda for peace based on cooperation. Imposition by force will never be the way.
In the spirit of the ICA Declaration on Positive Peace through Cooperatives, we reaffirm that conflicts arise from unmet human needs and aspirations. The ultimate goal for cooperatives is the satisfaction of basic human needs and aspirations. Cooperatives act for a better, more inclusive, more sustainable, more participative, and more prosperous future for all.
What are European coops doing already?
- In Finland cooperatives have donated to Ukraine via the Finnish Red Cross – all together already a staggering 1 million euros.
S Group SOK Corporation, has donated nearly 300.000 euros to the Finnish Red Cross for Ukraine.
- In Germany cooperatives join forces and already gathered 483.000 euros. The German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV) with its partners Raiffeisen Verband DRV, and the Mittelstandsverbund ZGV call for donations to support the German Red Cross.
- In Italy, Confcooperativa Habitat calls upon housing and community cooperatives to make available spaces for refugees and to report those to them.
Legacoop calls for donations to WeWorld-GVC.
- In Poland, the National Supervision Union of Spolem Consumer Co-operatives reports activities from various members to provide support to the displaced. For example, Społem Augustów provides food to local refugees.Consumer cooperatives are collecting non-perishable food to send to the Ukrainian people. The National Cooperative Council calls for local cooperatives to provide shelter, food, work and other immediate support to refugees. The National Association of Co-operative Saving and Credit Unions joins forces with other banks to donate products to Ukrainians.
- In Sweden Folksam donated 1 million SEK (92.000 EUR) to the Swedish Red Cross to support Ukrainians and calls upon others to donate.
- In the United Kingdom, Cooperatives UK supported by the Midcounties Co-operative and other coops call for donations to The Disasters Emergency Committee to support Ukrainians.