Specialized Bodies (1997)

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This document has been made available in electronic
format by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
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November 1997
(Source: ICA News, Issue No.5/6/1997)

Specialized Bodies
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Global Human Resource Development Committee
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Joint HRD/ICACCSeminar

The seminar on Overcoming Geographical Barriers through Electronic 
Networking and Distance Learning was a joint activity of the HRD and Communications
Committees with the support of the ILO COOPNET Programme.

The morning session dealt with networking and the role the Internet
can play in facilitating distance learning - the subject was introduced 
by Yehudah Paz, Chairman of Global HRD Committee, and Gabriele Ullrich 
from the ILO. Tony Luscombe, General Manager for Communications at
Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS UK), Byron Henderson, Director of Communications at
the Centre for Co-operative Studies of the University of Saskatchewan and Jim Spohrer
from Apple Macintosh in California were the keynote speakers.

Distance learning by traditional methods was the topic of the afternoon 
session with presentations by Dr. Peter Davis from Leicester University 
and Prof. Suleman Chambo, Principal of the Co-operative College in Moshi, Tanzania. The
two papers showed two sides of 20th century reality, but with one common denominator;
both concluded that there is a need for distance learning, and that co-operative HRD will
continue in the future to depend on distance learning.

Future HRD Meetings 

An international HRD seminar on value-based professional management will be hosted by the
Indian Movement  in Puna, India, 2-13 February 1998. 

The theme of the seminar will be linked to the issues of implementation 
of the co-operative identity, competitive advantage and performance, 
as well as the multi-cultural aspect. Participants from the various 
countries will be asked to contribute short papers on persons who were
important conceptual founders and who established values in the early
days of the movement. One day will be dedicated to a discussion on 
networking.

The joint seminar with the ICACC on electronic networking and distance 
education which took place in Geneva will be followed by discussions 
with the Research and Women's Committees in line with the HRD Committee
policy to work with other ICA specialised bodies.

The Chairman, Yehudah Paz, reported on the Board's decision to approve
the Constitution of the Global HRD Committee and informed participants 
that the regional HRDcommittees in Asia and Africa have new Constitutions with research
added to their mandates. Finally, Prof. Dr. Asar (Egypt) and Dr. Andrade (Colombia) were
elected to  the Executive.

ICA Global Women's Committee
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A new Chairperson and Executive were elected at the Plenary meeting 
of the Committee. The new Chair, Britten Lagerkvist Transtromer and the Executive
Committee defined priorities for the future.  The Committee will look at practical ways
of ensuring follow-up to the 1995 Congress resolution on Gender Equality.  Consultations
are expected to begin with the specialized bodies to discuss how to improve the
representation of women in the sectorial organizations. The Committee will also provide
input to the Board regarding the progress of women's representation in the  co-operative
movement. 

After numerous years of excellent work, Katarina Apelqvist turned 
down the request of members to stand for re-election.  Members of 
the Committee expressed their gratitude for her hard work and 
persistence in ensuring the women co-operatorsŐ voices and concerns
were heard.  The Committee had grown under her leadership and the 
women's network was strengthened. The Plenary also thanked outgoing
Executive members for their contribution to the work of the Committee. 
A special thanks was given to Ms. Irena Drazewska.

INTERCOOP 
*********

At its meeting in Geneva, INTERCOOP decided to move its secretariat 
from Copenhagen to Geneva and  to replace the present Secretary, 
Ole Dueholm, by Mats Ahnlund of the ICA, following the decision 
in 1996 to form a separate joint buying company.

The new secretariat will focus on training and providing services 
to the working groups on co-operative retailing and will also 
assist the ICA Development Trust to set up a project assisting 
consumer co-ops in the Caucasus region.

CICOPA 
******

The CICOPA meeting approved new rules changing the composition of 
the Executive Committee and including provision for associate 
membership and the creation of regional sub-committees and development organisations.
CECOP is now the official sub-committee for Europe and CICOPA Developpement, France the
first CICOPA development organisation.

Mr. Marian Rybar of Slovakia was elected President of CICOPA and 
Arsenio Invernizzi confirmed as Secretary. Future meetings will be 
held in Paris in October 1998 and in Quebec in 1999.

Co-operative Fisheries (ICFO) 
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The highlight of the Plenary meeting of the ICFO was the adoption 
of a resolution calling for member organizations' efforts  for the
labelling of product origin concerning imported as well as domestically
produced products. It is considered of paramount importance to supply
consumers with fresh, healthy and quality produce at fair prices.

In many countries, fishermen claim that unfairly cheap imported fish 
and fish products adversely affect  domestic producer prices without
benefiting the small scale producers of exporting countries. 

Another highlight in 1998 was a decision to hold an international 
fish cooking contest. The event will be hosted by the National
Federation of Fish Producers in Hungary. 

In view of the increasing importance of environmental conservation 
and food security, the chairman, Shoji Uemura, called for members' 
to comply with the provisions of the FAO's Code of Conduct for 
Responsible Fisheries. Furthermore, he emphasized the need to promote international trade
among co-operatives in such a way that it does not run counter to the interest of
producers. Such trade should assist the co-operative sector to establish a better
position in food distribution and market share vis-a-vis commercial companies, he
stressed.

The ICFO decided to deprive members not paying their dues of their 
voting rights and demote them to associate members. From 1997, 
auditing would take place only every two years. The next ODA 
Seminar in 1998 will be hosted by the new member organisation 
in Brazil.

OBITUARY

The representatives present at ICFO meetings prayed for one minute 
in silence for the soul of the late Mr. H. Eddiwan, auditor of ICFO 
and president of Indonesian Fishermen's Co-operative Societies. 
Mr. Eddiwan was Vice-Chairman of the ICA Committee on Fisheries 
for Asia and the Pacific.

Research 
********

The research Committee met in Bertinoro, Italy, from 2 - 5 October 
1997 to discuss the role of co-operatives in the present economic
climate. Over seventy researchers participated, over forty papers 
were presented and eleven workshops discussed issues ranging from 
Innovation and Community and the Co-operative Image to New Social 
Co-ops to Gender and Privatisation, Public Policy and Legal Issues. 
Future annual conferences will take place in Cork, Ireland in 1998 
and Quebec, Canada in 1999.

Banking 
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The ICA specialised organisation for co-operative banks focused on 
the issue of capital formation. This has been on the agenda for some 
time as international standards specify capital requirements which 
many co-operative banks have had problems meeting. ICBA also arranged 
a seminar on the topic, which was attended by some 80 people from 
co-operative banking worldwide.

Communications Committee (ICACC)
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The ICACC Executive meeting in Geneva on 14 September agreed to hold 
a Seminar on lobbying in Paris to coincide with the regional assembly 
next October. Speakers will be invited to focus on lobbying within 
the UN and EU systems and with national governments, as well as 
mobilizing members. 

The special sub-committee on Trade and Communications, led by 
Byron Henderson of the University of Saskatchewan, met on 16 
and 18 September to discuss trade and technology for co-ops. 
The sub-committee agreed to offer technological support to enable 
all ICA members to have a presence on the World Wide Web within 
one year. Space will be provided on the ICA Web Site. Apple are 
donating hardware, software and some technical support to set up 
interactive pages so that co-operatives can input and update their 
own pages, with a provision to enable those without internet access 
to input their information via fax. The group members also committed 
themselves and their organisations to a number of other concrete 
projects which have a clear benefit to co-ops, including assistance 
to the ICA in its aim to set up a new Web Site dedicated to 
co-operative trade with an interactive bulletin which members 
can use to post trade information by e-mail and fax. Apple and 
Xerox will host the next meeting of the group in February 1998.  

Finally, the ICACC held a Seminar with the ICA HRD Committee, 
with funding from the ILO CoopNet Project, on 17 September. 
This is detailed in the HRD report.

Consumer Co-operatives
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The meeting of the  International Consumer Co-operative Organisation 
focused on several important programmes: the project on developing and strengthening
consumer co-operatives in Latin America will continue to be co-financed in 1998 by ANCC,
Italy and KF, Sweden. UK organisations, Co-op Union and CWS,  are examining the
possibility of subsequent  co-financing of the project.  CWS materials on education and
training programmes will be the basis for a proposal to set up an  international training
and education programme for members and elected officials of consumer co-operatives.

A Conference on biotechnologies and sustainable consumption, will 
be co-funded by the European Commission  in Brussels on 23 
October 1997.

During elections Giuseppe Fabretti, ANCC-Italy and Hisashi Tanaka, 
JCCU-Japan were confirmed as Chairman and Vice Chairman. Executive 
members are Silvester Adamca, Slovakia; Sigurd Bak, Germany; 
Petr Brozek, Czech Republic; Anne Buch-Jorgensen, Denmark; 
Lars Hillbom, Sweden; Patrice Jolivet, France; Zoltan Szoke, 
Hungary and Lloyd Wilkinson, UK.