Message from the International Co-operative Alliance

   This document has been made available in electronic format
      by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA

 73rd International Co-operative Day (Saturday, 1 July 1995)

     Message from the International Co-operative Alliance

        The ICA Centennial and the Next 100 Years
               of International Co-operation

As the International Co-operative Alliance enters its second
century, its membership has reached over 750 million at
grassroots level and the basic principles which it promotes have
been applied to all aspects of economic and social life on every

The "Co-operative Principles", based on the traditions of a
variety of 19th century pioneers, and last revised by the ICA in
1966, are to be submitted for review at the ICA's Centennial
Congress and General Assembly, in Manchester in September. The
new proposal, as approved by the ICA Board in April, consists of
seven principles: voluntary and open membership; democratic
member control;  member economic participation; autonomy and
independence; education, training and information; co-operation
among co-operatives; and concern for community.

The new version of the Co-operative Principles is to be contained
within a "Statement on the Co-operative Identity", which also
identifies the basic co-operative values as self-help, democracy,
equality, equity, and solidarity. Co-operators, it says, believe
in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility
and caring for others.

While emphasising the self-help aspect of co-operatives, the new
principles also stress the wider role which co-operatives play
in the community and extend the principle of education to reflect
the importance of information in spreading the co-operative
message more widely.

The United Nations General Assembly has declared the first
Saturday of July, starting in 1995, as the United Nations
International Day of Co-operatives, coinciding with and
reinforcing the ICA's own International Co-operative Day, which
was first celebrated in 1927.

The United Nations thus recognises the contribution of
co-operatives to economic and social development as an
indispensable factor in promoting the fullest possible
participation in the development process of all population
groups, including women, youth, disabled persons and the elderly.

In his report to the General Assembly, in July 1994, the UN
Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, stated that
"co-operative enterprises provide the organisational means
whereby a significant proportion of humanity is able to  take
into its own hands the tasks of creating productive employment,
overcoming poverty and achieving social integration".

The UN encourages Governments to consider fully the potential of
co-operatives for contributing to the solution of economic,
social and environmental problems in formulating national
development strategies for sustainable development.

In this Centennial Year, the International Co-operative Alliance
calls on its members to work with their Governments and with
United Nations Information Centres worldwide  to  celebrate the
UN International Day of Co-operatives, and to promote the
Principles of Co-operation in their members' magazines and other

The ICA also encourages its members to inform Governments about
the work and potential of co-operatives and to develop 
information programmes which make use of new communications
technology, thereby targeting young people who will be the
opinion leaders and decision makers in the next 100 years of
international co-operation.

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