World Credit Union Conference Advances Global Movement
International Leaders Celebrate Credit Unions, Exchange Best Practices and Address Challenges
Attendees at the World Credit Union Conference meet from around the world to exchange ideas, best practices, and start and renew friendships.
For 1,850 credit union leaders and guests from
countries, the World Credit Union Conference in
Dublin, Ireland, July 27-30, was a rare
opportunity to interact with credit union
volunteers, senior-level executives, expert
speakers, regulators and advocates from around
Held annually by the World Council of Credit
Unions, Inc. (WOCCU), the World Credit Union
Conference is the premier forum for trend
analyses, exchange of innovations and
networking. The Dublin conference, co-hosted by
the Irish League of Credit Unions, provided
participants an exciting venue in Ireland's
charming "City of Living Culture" and insight
into the fascinating development of one of the
most successful credit union systems in the
John Hume receives the Distinguished Service Award from WOCCU Board Chairman Gary Plank at the closing ceremony.
"It's no surprise so many want to be involved
credit union work]", Taoiseach (Irish Prime
Minister) Bertie Ahern told attendees during the
conference's opening session. He said it
reflected the "high standing" of credit unions,
which "bring financial dignity" to people of
modest means. Irish credit unions, he
continued, "are the biggest providers of social
finance in the country, and it's important to
recognize that contribution."
General sessions featured keynote addresses by
former President of Ireland and human rights
advocate Mary Robinson, U.S. Credit Union
National Association CEO Dan Mica and noted Irish
economist and television personality David
McWilliams. Irish Minister for Finance Brian
Cowen and Iain McDonald, Director-General of the
International Cooperative Alliance, also spoke to
participants. Twenty breakout sessions were
divided into four issue-driven
finance and operations, increasing access to
financial services, and issues for developing
Receiving the WOCCU 2006 Distinguished Service
Award, statesman John Hume said his greatest
accomplishment was establishing Northern
Ireland's credit union movement.
"The credit union movement hasn't boasted
what it has done," Hume said, "but when you
consider how credit unions have transformed not
only individual people, but the national
economy…it has to be said that the credit
union movement has played an incredible role in
developing and shaping our country." Hume, the
only person in history to have won the three most
prestigious peace awards in the world – the Nobel
Peace Prize, the Gandhi Peace Prize and the
Martin Luther King Award, was a leading figure in
Ireland's civil rights movement in addition to
his credit union work.
The 2007 World Credit Union Conference will be
held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, July 29 -
August 1, 2007.
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.