Message of the United Nations Secretary-General

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

                        UNITED NATIONS
                     Boutros-Boutros Ghali

                        6 July 1996

    The world's Governments, meeting in Copenhagen, Beijing and
Istanbul in the past year to confront some of the gravest issues
facing human society, have unanimously recognized the importance
of the contribution with cooperatively organized business
enterprises make in almost all areas of human endeavour and in
communities throughout the world.  Moreover, they acknowledged
that the values and principles of the international cooperative
movement, proclaimed with renewed clarity in the Statement of
Cooperative Identity adopted at the recent Centennial Congress
of the International Co-operative Alliance, are precisely those
that the world community considers, with increasing conviction,
to be prerequisites for the solution of the problems of
unemployment, poverty, social integration and environmental

    In an increasingly globalized economy neither individual
citizens, nor entire communities, nor even Governments of
sovereign states are fully in control of processes affecting them
but whose beneficial impact is by no means certain.  In this
environment the cooperative movement and the cooperative sector
offer a means, vital to many millions of citizens, whereby goods
and services may be efficiently produced and consumer.  This can
be done for purposes consistent with the ethical premises of
civilization and by processes that remain with the democratic
control of individual citizens.  Those purposes are socially and
environmentally responsible and respect human dignity and the
stability of communities -- the central requirements of a
sustainable human society.