ACO membership comprises of the Co-operative Apex or Holding Co-operative from ASEAN countries.
ACO was set up to lead and improve the strategic relations between Co-operative movements in ASEAN countries. These strategy will help in the implementation of a wide range of activities that benefit all Co-operative.
In addition to the strong network and cooperation between Co-operative members from ASEAN countries, ACO also played its important role as an entity that represents the Co-operative movements either at the national and international level, in order to support and fulfil its objective in line with Bangkok Declaration on August 8, 1967 creating equality based on vision, mission and identity of ASEAN.
Set goals on the establishment of ASEAN in terms of:
Accelerating economic growth.
Social development and cultural development based on the spirit and 7 principles of Co-operative, partnership and equality to strengthen the formation of a society which had been developed among the ASEAN member countries.
Shaping peace and regional stability by encouraging member countries to foster good relations with respect for Justice and the law and adhere to the principles of the Charter Of the United Nations (UN).
ACO adopted 7 Co-operative principles and ethical values adopted by Co-operatives around the world as follows:
i. Voluntary and Open Membership
ii. Democratic Member Control
iii. Members’ Economic Participation
iv. Autonomy and Independence
v. Education, Training and Motivation
vi. Cooperation among Co-operatives
vii. Concern for Community
ACO was formed under the supervision of the Indonesian Co-operative Council (DEKOPIN) in the years 2007 to 2014 in Jakarta, Indonesia.On September 16, 2014, Dato ' Haji Abdul Fattah Haji Abdullah, the President of the ANGKASA had been nominated by the majority council members as the new President ACO for a four-year term from 2014 to 2018 to replace Mr. Nurdin Halid, the President of DEKOPIN in the ACO Conference in Bali, Indonesia.
Based on the meeting, the Councils collectively proposed ACO Office in Jakarta to be shifted to Malaysia under the supervision of the new President of ACO who is also President of the ANGKASA for a period of four years commencing September 16, 2014 through 2018.
To ensure that the ACO moves right on track and comply with the Malaysian law, a Protemp Committee comprises of 2 representatives from Indonesia, 2 representatives from Thailand and 9 representatives from Malaysia including President of ACO was set up to draft the Constitution of the ACO.
On 6th January 2015, ACO was registered officially as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) at the Office of the Registrar of Societies (ROS). In the Constitution, ACO highlighted the adoption of International Co-operative Principles as follows:
- Enhance cooperation among co-operative movement of ASEAN member countries.
- Enhance the growth and development of the Co-operative activities in the region through joint effort and joint ventures.
- Establish cooperation with international organizations and countries that have similar objectives and purposes.
- Facilitate the achievement of the goals and objective of ASEAN as adopted in the Bangkok Declaration on August 8, 1967.
ACO will play its role in implementing Co-operative transformation strategies for the Co-operative movement in ASEAN in terms of identifying issues faced by co-operatives as well as acting its role as the entities representing co-operatives in ASEAN.