Theme for International Co-operative Day 1996

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

ICA PRESS RELEASE

        ----------------------------------------------
           Theme for International Co-operative Day
        ----------------------------------------------

Co-operative Enterprise: -   Empowerment for People-centred 
                             Sustainable Development

Geneva, Switzerland, 12 February 1996: -  Empowerment for
People-centred Sustainable Development has been chosen as the
theme for this year's International Day of Co-operatives. The
theme was chosen in consultation with the United Nations and with
the new ICA President, Mr. Graham Melmoth.

The theme will enable the ICA to give prominence to the new
Co-operative Principles while linking to a variety of issues of
importance to the United Nations in 1996.

ICA will provide input to the International Year for the
Eradication of Poverty 1996, which will focus on the need for
people-centred, sustainable development to reduce unemployment
and hunger, empower women and provide basic services. The theme
will also follow-up the major UN conferences - the World Summit
for Social Development, the Fourth World Conference on Women, and
the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) -
- all of which call on governments to create partnerships with
co-operatives as a means of tackling today's most urgent
problems.

The International Day of Co-operatives will be officially
celebrated on 6 July 1996, by the United Nations and by
co-operatives around the world. 

The International Co-operative Alliance is an independent,
non-governmental association which unites, represents and serves
co-operatives worldwide. The ICA was founded in London in 1895.
Its members are national and international co-operative
organisations in all sectors of activity including agriculture,
banking, energy, industry, insurance, fisheries, housing, tourism
and consumer co-operatives. ICA has more than 230 member
organisations from over 100 countries, representing more than 760
million individuals worldwide.

In 1946, the ICA was one of the first non-governmental
organisations to be accorded United Nations Consultative Status.
Today it is one of the sixty-nine organisations holding Category
1 Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council
(ECOSOC).

Co-operatives worldwide have been celebrating International
Co-operative Day since 1923, when the Day was initiated to
strengthen the unity of the Alliance and as a means of
publicising the Co-operative Movement worldwide. In 1992, the
United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the first Saturday of
July 1995 to be United Nations International Day of
Co-operatives, marking the centenary of the establishment of the
International Co-operative Alliance. In 1994, it invited the
international community to observe this Day annually, starting
from 1995. In this way the United Nations intends its own
celebrations to support and extend those of the international
co-operative movement.      


For more information, contact:

          International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
          15, Route des Morillons
          1218 Grand Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland
          Tel + 41 22 929 8888
          Fax + 41 22 798 4122
          E-mail icageneva@gn.apc.org