Geneva – As part of the United Nations (UN) Year of Microcredit, the UN is preparing guidance for policymakers around the world on what actions should be taken to create inclusive financial systems. The World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) was one of a select group of non- governmental agencies invited to the two-day meeting in Geneva to discuss the issues with central banks, ministries of finance, donors and senior representatives of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
As the UN prepares its policy statement to be released to all governments later this year by the UN General Secretary Kofi Annan, WOCCU served as the sole voice for ensuring that governments develop wise public policy as it relates to the role of credit unions in building inclusive financials systems.
"We continue to encounter officials within ministries of finance and central banks that are unsure how to address the unique aspects of credit unions," indicated Dave Grace, WOCCU's senior manager of Association Services. "Taxation, appropriate regulatory and supervisory structures and remittances by credit unions are all topics that are being debated and will be addressed in the United Nation's forthcoming guidance to government policy makers on building inclusive financial systems. Credit unions have always been active advocates for consumers at the local and national levels. As more standards are emanating from global organizations, WOCCU is advocating at a global level."
In addition to the meeting in Geneva, WOCCU has submitted a written submission to the UN and was selected as one of the few organizations being interviewed in depth to help shape the policy guidance. The policy guidance from the UN will be geared toward policy makers in developing countries but is also intended to be applicable to developed nations as well.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.