Co-operative Day Message 1982


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    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
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                         December 1997


               60th International Co-operative Day
                    Saturday, 3rd July, 1982

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       Message of the International Co-operative Alliance
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Dear Co-operators,

The Executive Committee of the International Co-operative
Alliance (ICA), which met in London at the end of March, took
the unanimous decision to request all ICA member organizations
throughout the world, to celebrate, with particular emphasis,
the 60th anniversary of the institution of International Co-
operative Day.

The idea goes back to 1920, when the Executive Committee of
the ICA at that time, concerned with the strains that the
consequences of the international and national conflicts
continued to impose on the co-operative movements in the
former belligerent countries, was looking for an action which
would lead to strengthening the unity of the Alliance. When
the Central Committee met in Milan in 1922, it formally
accepted the proposal for a Co-operators' Day. It would be
celebrated on the first Saturday in July, each year.

The first International Co-operative Day, thus celebrated for
the first time in the world on 7 July 1923 "to the effect of
demonstrating to the whole world the solidarity of Co-
operators and the efficacy of their organization as a means of
economic emancipation and a guarantee of world peace" (quoted
from the first manifesto).

Today, as we celebrate this 60th International Co-operative
Day, 360 million co-operators around the world re-state the
vital truth that this world-wide movement is not only a
powerful and different economic system of self-help, but is
above all, a living truth that takes its members beyond the
difficulties inherent in other economic systems, and a unique
tool for achieving lasting peace and solidarity.

In recent years, a new trend has been noticeable. ICA members
now question their membership, their role and their own
ideology. Some have found powerful motivation in the concept
of the transference of their ideology and experience to
developing countries. They are convinced that the application
of the co-operative principles and techniques, both nationally
and internationally, is the most positive contribution
possible.

Concerning development, it is our hope that a more concerted
development and policy will provide ICA with a new framework
for its activities and lift them across new and exciting
frontiers.

In the 1981 United Nations General Assembly, 123 member states
adopted a resolution `inviting the regional economic
commissions and the specialized agencies concerned to make
further efforts with a view to promoting the co-operative
movement as an effective instrument for the improvement of the
well-being of the population". Is it not that world-wide
recognition of the major role co-operatives are expected to
play?

It also reflects a great and growing need for the people to
join together and give voice to the real longing and need for
peace. A call that is heard time and time again from youth as
well as from millions of men and women at co-operative
meetings all over the world. At the 27th Congress of the ICA,
a resolution on peace was unanimously adopted re-affirming the
belief of co-operators that peace is necessary if economic and
social progress is to be achieved. Co-operators will never
fatalistically accept the idea that as long as man kind
exists, wars will be unavoidable. On the contrary (and this
should be forcefully re-stated on this 60th anniversary), in
1895 when the founders of the ICA set down the rules for the
Alliance, they pledged the Alliance to `building a society
which would be organized in the interests of the whole
community, a society based upon mutual self-help and they
bound themselves to contribute to establishing lasting peace
and security".

May the exceptional celebrations of the 60th International Co-
operative Day provide an opportunity for every national
federation and co-operative and their 360 million members to
re-affirm their belief that co-operation leads to peace and
that a peaceful world is not a dream but, a target to be
reached.

-ICA Executive Committee