Message for UN International Day of Coops (1996)

   This document has been made available in electronic format  
            by the Committee for the Promotion and 
               Advancement of Cooperatives COPAC


       Message from the Committee for the Promotion and 
      Advancement of Cooperatives on the occasion of the 
      2nd International Day of Cooperatives, 6 July 1996

True and independent cooperatives are people's organizations
which empower their members.  They are found in all sectors of
economic activity constituting a significant economic and social
force in many countries around the world. Cooperatives are
enterprises which are committed to improving the economic, social
and environmental situation of their members and the communities
in which they operate.  It is for this reason that the
cooperative movement is a logical partner for implementing the
commitments made at the World Summit for Social Development, the
Fourth World Conference on Women, Habitat II, and will be
important in achieving the goals of the upcoming World Food

COPAC - the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of
Cooperatives - is an example of a successful and on-going
partnership between representatives of the cooperative movement
together with farmers' and workers' organizations (representing
a combined membership of over 1 billion people in 130 countries),
and the United Nations and its agencies.  Its founding
organizations realized that regular meetings where UN and civil
society organizations could freely exchange information and
discuss issues of common interest would lead to joint
collaboration to reach their mutual aim of improving the lives
of people today and ensuring better lives for the future. 

Today, the members of COPAC - the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO), the International Co-operative Alliance
(ICA), the International Federation of Agricultural Producers
(IFAP), the International Labour Office (ILO), the International
Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco
and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF), the World Council of
Credit Unions (WOCCU), and the United Nations (UN) - work
together on equal terms to promote sustainable cooperative
development through policy dialogues, exchange of technical
information and through concrete and practical collaborative

On this second International Day of Cooperatives, we urge the UN
to look to COPAC as a model of how institutions of civil society
can work together with UN agencies.  After 25 years of
collaborative activity, we feel that COPAC constitutes a valuable
base on which new partnerships can be initiated and existing
partnerships strengthened.  We look forward to being an integral
part of the process of establishing consultative mechanisms which
will enable the commitments made in Copenhagen, Beijing, Istanbul
and those to be made in Rome in November 1996 to be fulfilled.

                          * * * * *

        For more information on COPAC, please contact:

                       COPAC Coordinator
                    15, Route des Morillons
                  1218 Grand Saconnex, Geneva
                     tel +41 22 929 8825  
                     fax +41 22 798 4122