Top Priorities for New ICA President

This document has been made available in electronic format
     by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA
                     February 1996

                       ICA NEWS

             Special Centennial Congress Issue

      Development Issues and Gender Equality are Top
             Priorities for New ICA President

The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is to establish a special
trust fund for sustainable human resource development by January next year,
says new ICA President, Graham Melmoth.

In an interview with Congress News after his election to the  Presidency,
Mr Melmoth stressed that the creation of the fund was a priority item and
appealed to all co-operative leaders especially those from rich movements
to contribute generously to the fund.

He said once the fund is created, ICA will use the interest to support
among other things delegates from poor co-operative movements to attend its
major meetings. The creation of the fund is part of the organisation's
initiatives to raise resources.

The ICA does not have adequate resources to undertake major assignments but
maintains a degree of influence with major lending institutions like the
World Bank.

Regarding the new structure of the ICA, Mr Melmoth said there was a need to
monitor closely how it will operate to avoid regions alienating the centre.

Greater effort will be required to sustain and increase links with  all ICA
specialised bodies to maintain unity in the organisation. He was, however,
quick to point out that  regional assemblies will be in a better position
to deal with specific needy areas.

Mr Melmoth's priorities will be to tackle gender issues, ensure recognition
of the ICA at the international level and promote the development of
co-operatives in Africa where no single movement was sound and secure.

He said the ICA will endeavour to try and convince rich co-operative
movements to transfer resources to the poor ones. He was optimistic that
once South Africa is admitted into the ICA, it will have great influence in
the development of co-operatives in Africa.

The ICA is arranging a forum specifically for South Africa to try and bring
different types of co-operatives in that country  together.

On gender issues, Mr Melmoth felt that the ICA may be prompted to make
positive discrimination regarding the attendance at ICA meetings to
encourage more equal representation of men and women.

Geoffrey Chipolyonga