Theme for International Co-operative Day

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

Source : Review of International Co-operation Vol.89, No
1/1996, 6.

           Theme for International Co-operative Day

          Co-operative Enterprise: - Empowerment for
            People-centred Sustainable Development

Empowerment for People-centred Sustainable Development has
been chosen as the theme for this year's International Day of
Co-operatives. The theme was chosen in consultation with the
United Nations and with the new ICA President, Mr. Graham

The theme will enable the ICA to give prominence to the new
Co-operative Principles while linking to a variety of issues
of importance to the United Nations in 1996.

ICA will provide input to the International Year for the
Eradication of Poverty 1996, which will focus on the need for
people-centred, sustainable development to reduce unemployment
and hunger, empower women and provide basic services. The
theme will also follow-up the major UN conferences _ the World
Summit for Social Development, the Fourth World Conference on
Women, and the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements
(Habitat II) -- all of which call on governments to create
partnerships with co-operatives as a means of tackling today's
most urgent problems.

The International Day of Co-operatives will be officially
celebrated on 6 July 1996, by the United Nations and by
co-operatives around the world. 

The International Co-operative Alliance is an independent,
non-governmental association which unites, represents and
serves co-operatives worldwide. The ICA was founded in London
in 1895. Its members are national and international
co-operative organisations in all sectors of activity
including agriculture, banking, energy, industry, insurance,
fisheries, housing, tourism and consumer co-operatives. ICA
has more than 230 member organisations from over 100
countries, representing more than 760 million individuals

In 1946, the ICA was one of the first non-governmental
organisations to be accorded United Nations Consultative
Status. Today it is one of the sixty-nine organisations
holding Category 1 Consultative Status with the UN Economic
and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Co-operatives worldwide have been celebrating International
Co-operative Day since 1923, when the Day was initiated to
strengthen the unity of the Alliance and as a means of
publicising the Co-operative Movement worldwide. In 1992, the
United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the first Saturday
of July 1995 to be United Nations International Day of
Co-operatives, marking the centenary of the establishment of
the International Co-operative Alliance. In 1994, it invited
the international community to observe this Day annually,
starting from 1995. In this way the United Nations intends its
own celebrations to support and extend those of the
international co-operative movement.