News from the Regions

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: icageneva@gn.apc.org

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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.