International Co-operative Day (1996)

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

               (source : ICA News 4-5/1996, pp.1-2)

                 International Co-operative Day
      United Nations 2nd International Day of Co-operatives
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The United Nations Department of Policy Coordination and
Sustainable Development organized, jointly with the ICA, a
panel discussion on 1 July 1996 at the UN Headquarters in New
York on the theme "Partnership between the United Nations and
the International Co-operative Movement in the follow-up to
Copenhagen, Beijing and Istanbul".  Representatives from the
Co-operative Movement joined Nitin Desai, Under Secretary-
General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development,
to discuss concrete measures that would allow the effective
engagement of the Co-operative Movement in the implementation
of the strategies adopted in Copenhagen, Beijing and Istanbul.
Under Secretary-General Desai opened the meeting by stressing
the special role of the organized segments of civil society -
one of the largest being the co-operative movement. 

Co-operatives have an important role to play in implementing
the programmes of action of the recent global conferences. The
aim of the meeting was to identify ways for practical
expression of these goals. Mr. Desai pointed out that unlike
other segments of civil society, the co-op movement has a
unique body which was already bringing together United Nations
agencies and NGOs to coordinate their activities in
co-operative development. The Committee for the Promotion and
Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) was a good starting point
for practical implementation.


Co-op Day in Slovakia
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The International Co-operative Day 1996 was widely celebrated
in Slovakia this year with representatives from the Government
and many foreign visitors attending the festivities which
included International Seminar on Systems of Governance and
Management in Co-operatives and Management  and COOPEXPO'96,
the 3rd co-operative exhibition, where a wide range of
products from agricultural, workers and consumer co-ops were
available as well as a fashion show twice daily.

Another important event which had taken place earlier in the
year was also highlighted during the day. this was the 200th
anniversary of the birth of Samuel Jurkovic, a founder and
pioneer of the co-operative movement in Europe. Commemorative
coins and a postcard  in honour of and including the portrait
and house of  Samuel Jurkovic, issued by the philatelists of
Brezova pod Bradlom, his native town, were also on sale during
the celebrations.

The Union of the Slovak Republic gave prominence to the
promotion of the Slovak co-operative movement at national and
international level, with the adoption of a new Co-operative
Act as one of the principle objectives. The new Act should
solve legal obstacles for establishing credit and savings
co-operatives, and ease restrictions. A highly successful
health insurance co-operative, which was  founded only a few
years ago and already has over 100,000 members, is just one
example of  the dynamic changes in Slovakia.

Web Site Launched to Honour International Co-operative Day 
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The National Co-operative Business Association (NCBA) launched
a web site devoted to helping people understand what
co-operatives are and how they can use the co-operative model
to help themselves and their communities, on the Internet, to
celebrate the International Co-operative Day, Saturday, July 6.

The site is located at http://www.cooperative.org and the
site's home page features areas which lead the viewer to more
information about food co-ops, childcare co-ops, housing
co-ops, agricultural co-ops, financial co-ops, co-operative
economic development, NCBA, and more.