Consumers International has achieved an amazing amount in the past year. Despite the uncertain economic climate, in 2012 we managed to ensure that the consumer voice was heard at some of the most high-level decision-making events.
Our annual report summary highlights some of these achievements, including our actions on World Consumer Rights Day; our role in the revision of the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection; our involvement in the G20/OECD taskforce to create principles for financial consumer protection; our contribution to the development of WHO policy on non-communicable diseases; and our organisation of a first-of-its-kind international gathering looking at the challenges consumers will face in the new digital landscape.
Our new strategy of focusing on a small number of consumer issues for which there is something to be achieved at the international level is working. This is because we are concentrating on areas for which most of our Members have active work programmes and can therefore pool and share ideas: financial services, food, consumer protection, and digital rights.
Our Organisational Empowerment programme is developing services which can bring Members together – either in their own backyard or across the globe – to share information and resources, to learn from the experience of others and to offer or receive mentoring services from those who have more years of experience or have developed an idea which is now transferable somewhere else.
As always, we are seeking additional sources of funding – both to sustain CI itself and to support targeted activity within our four priority areas. Our new Strategic Plan (pdf) is making it easier for us to achieve this.
As always, none of this would be possible without the continued hard work of our membership. My time as Director General will come to an end in December 2013, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters and partners for your spirit, dedication and commitment to the movement.
The way forward is now established and CI is in a great position to help realise the aim of supporting our Members by providing the benefits you need most and developing a powerful consumer movement equal to the challenges of the 21st Century.