5,000 to gather for 2nd national coop peace forum

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/4 Nov) – Some 5,000 cooperative leaders representing 20,178 cooperatives nationwide are set to gather in this city for the 2nd National Cooperative Peace Forum, an official of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) said Thursday.

Dubbed as “11.11.11,” the “convergence will see the coming together of 5,000 coop leaders from all over the country with stakeholders representing the local government units, NGOs, lumads, Muslims, academe and the civic organizations to bring to all and sundry the cooperative declaration for peace,” said Orland Ravanera, CDA regional director for Northern Mindanao.

“The final solution of war is peace building. If we collectively uproot the causes of war then insurgency would lose its relevance to those who have been victims of social injustice, deficiency in governance,” Ravanera said in an interview.

He added that “cooperative as a paradigm for achieving social justice is the best vehicle towards peace building.”

Carrying the theme “Advancing the essence of peace through cooperativism,” the forum is scheduled on November 11 at the atrium of LimKetKai Mall in this city.

Ravanera noted that the issues of the poor usually don’t get people’s attention. “This forum will give space for them,” Ravanera said.

The forum will tackle the cooperatives’ “nine paths to peace,” which is attaining peace through 1) sustainable agriculture; 2) protection, rehabilitation and preferential use of natural resources; 3) rights-based management of utilities; 4) good governance and people empowerment; 5) human resource development; 6) conflict transformation, management and resolution; 7) promotion of Halal food; 8) international cooperation and integration of foreign peace-making initiatives; and 9) recognition and acceptance of cultural diversity and integrity.

Philippine Cooperative Center chair Agapito “Butz” Aquino is slated to give the general synthesis in the context of cooperativism after the presentations.

“We are inviting you to take part in advancing the crusade to exemplify that cooperativism can be up to the task of becoming not only an instrument of social justice, empowerment and development but also a vehicle for peace-building to address the root causes of war, poverty and social injustices,” said Ravanera. (Cong B. Corrales / MindaNews)