ICA News: Issue No 6/1994 Editor: Mary Treacy Address: 15, route des Morillons - 1218 Grand-Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland. Tel: (41 22) 798 41 21 - Fax: (41 22) 798 41 22 Telex: 41 56 20 ICA CH - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ******************************************************************** NEWS FROM THE REGIONS AFRICA First African Regional Assembly The first Regional Assembly under the new ICA structure was held in Nairobi, for African members, from 6-9 September 1994. Delegates from ICA member organisations in West, North, and East, Central and Southern Africa spent two days in seminar sessions, where they reviewed in detail the first draft of the ICA's proposed revision of the Co-operative Principles and a draft Co-operative Development Strategy for Africa. Participants commented afterwards that the seminar format provided opportunity for much more detailed examination of important issues than is possible at global meetings of ICA. The seminar conclusions were reported back to a plenary meeting chaired by Hon. B. Wolimbwa of Uganda, the alternate ICA Vice-President (Africa), and co-chaired by Mr. O. Dieng, the Acting Chairman of the ICA Regional Council for West Africa. ICA President Lars Marcus provided an overview of recent developments in other regions, after which the two ICA Regional Directors provided detailed reports about the current activities of ICA and the situation facing members in their regions. Their reports are available from the respective regional offices. The ICA Specialised Bodies were also active in Nairobi. The Women's Committee held executive and plenary meetings. The chairman of CICOPA and the chief executive of ICMIF participated actively in the Regional Assembly sessions. A new regional insurance committee for Africa, which was formed earlier this year, made its first report to the ICA. A common theme throughout the meeting was that the impact of structural adjustment and market liberalisation will have severe effects on co-operatives unless they take immediate steps to improve their business efficiency and competitive position. Representatives of the Kenyan government reported that work has begun on a revision of the Co-operative Act in recognition of the fact that an unfavourable policy environment has hampered the development of co-operatives in Kenya. The Regional Assembly itself was hosted efficiently by the major co-operative organisations in Kenya in spite of the fact that the Kenya National Federation of Co-operatives has been expelled from ICA due to non-payment of dues. The African Regional Assembly was invited to hold its 1996 meeting in Dakar, Senegal. THE AMERICAS Regional Assembly of the Americas The revision of the Co-operative Principles, Human Resource Development, and Business Opportunities for Co-operatives were the three themes of the ICA's first Regional Assembly for the Americas, which was held in the Latin American Parliament in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 21-22 November. In addition to the 38 delegates from 13 countries and four regional organisations, more than 100 observers participated in the plenary and workshop sessions. Under the Chairmanship of Roberto Rodrigues, ICA Vice-President representing the Americas region, the Regional Assembly also established operating procedures for ICA's new regional structure. Delegates adopted rules for the Regional Assembly and agreed on the appointment of a Consultative Committee consisting of one representative from each member country and international member organisation in the region. It was also agreed that one ICA Regional Office should in the future cover the whole Americas region, supplemented where necessary by Project Offices such as the one now operating in Buenos Aires. The Consultative Committee will meet in March, at which time it will discuss the implications of the extension of the mandate of the Regional Office. EUROPE European Regional Assembly elects Council and focuses Priorities The first ICA Regional Assembly for Europe met in Prague on October 26-27, and took the following decisions: * It replaced its temporary Advisory Council with a 12-member elected ICA European Council composed of the following members: Graham Melmoth, President (U.K); Ota Karen,Vice-President (Czech Republic): and members: Raija Itkonen (Finland); Etienne Pflimlin (France); Rolf Trodin (Sweden); Knud Rasmussen (Denmark); Pal Bartus (Hungary); Jean-Francois Hoffelt (Belgium); Giuliano Vecchi (Italy); Marian Rybar (Slovakia); Valentin Ermakov (Russia); and Francisco Sanz (Spain). * It approved provisional rules, and agreed that proposed amendments should be reviewed during 1995 by a special rules committee. * It agreed that the current 10 priority regional activities should be reduced to six, and that they should report to the European Council through its secretary, with the current two Working Groups being disbanded. * The Assembly further agreed that East-West relations shall be a permanent priority for ICA Europe. The Co-op Network shall become an independent part of ICA Europe, with its own Board and separate budget, concentrating on projects, with overhead and administrative costs shared with ICA Europe on the basis of annual agreements. ICA Europe shall be responsible for policy and administrative coordination. Five other issues-corporate governance, sustainable human development, gender, communications, and schools-shall continue as regional priorities during 1995. A decision on their future will be taken at the time of the Manchester Congress. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC Regional Assembly Reconvened The Regional Assembly for Asia and the Pacific, which was scheduled to take place in New Delhi from 5 - 7 October was postponed till January 5 -7 due to an outbreak of Plague in India. The Assembly will approve the Rules of the Regional Assembly and its Executive Council. Other agenda items will include the Review of the Co-operative Principles, the 3-year development programme of ROAP, a report on the Third Co-operative Ministers Conference, and a special report on the situation of Australian co-operatives.