Foreward to 'An ICA Policy for Co-operative Development'

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

                         August, 1996

Source : An ICA Policy for Co-operative Development, Studies and
Reports, ICA, London, 1983, 28 pp. Hard copy available in French,
German, Spanish and Russian.

          An ICA Policy for Co-operative Development


After the second World War, many co-operative organizations from
developing countries became affiliated to the International Co-
operative Alliance, so that today they represent an important
part of the membership.

One of the main themes of the 19th ICA Congress (Paris, 1954)
dealt with the role of co-operatives in developing countries. As
a result of the discussions, the ICA Sub-Committee on technical
assistance became gradually involved in technical co-operation
activities, although still on an ad hoc basis.

In 1956, an international conference was organized with co-
operators from South East Asian countries to discuss plans for
establishing a permanent Secretariat in that region.
Subsequently, the problem of co-operative development appeared
to be the most important item on the agenda of the 20th ICA
Congress (Stockholm, 1957) where a major resolution was adopted
which played an important role in ICA's future involvement in
assisting the co-operative movements in developing countries.

Two regional offices were established, one in New Delhi for
the South-East Asian region, in 1960 and the other in Moshi for
East, Central and Southern Africa, in 1968. As a result, ICA's
involvement in development aid became more structured and a
permanent relationship was established between the ICA and its
member organizations in the two regions. In 1979, a third
regional office was formally established in Abidjan to serve the
West African co-operative organizations.

On 1st January, 1971, the ICA launched the Co-operative
Development Decade. This initiative, highly praised by U Thant,
former Secretary General of the United Nations, was taken in
support of the Second UN Development Decade. 

The increased participation of the ICA affiliated organizations
in co-operative programmes in the developing countries, led to
the adoption of a resolution on technical assistance by the 27th
ICA Congress (Moscow, 1980). This resolution asked the Central
Committee "to draw up a long-term policy for co-operative
development which should set up guide lines for ICA's technical
assistance programme covering the type of assistance to be given,
the way the ICA should work in developing countries, the use of
the Development Fund, the beneficiaries of technical assistance
and the links with national, social and economic plans".

The present document, issued from the above resolution
reflects the views, aspirations and commitments of the entire
co-operative movement and fits into the framework of the Un Third
Development decade. It has been approved by the ICA Central
Committee at its meeting in Rome in October, 1982.

It is given a wide distribution with the hope that governments,
co-operative organizations and institutions in both developing
and industrialized countries, and multi-lateral and bi-lateral
development aid programmes will find it useful for the
formulation of new imaginative programmes of co-operation. 

                                       A.E. Saenger
                                        ICA Director