Farewell Remarks by ICA President Lars Marcus

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

    Farewell Remarks by ICA President Lars Marcus

Three years have passed since our Congress in Tokyo. The changes decided
upon have had their follow up. Regional Assemblies and elections have taken
place. During the preparations for this Congress we, on the Board, have
once again turned our attention to our financial situation. We are still in
the black (with the exception of 1993), but we have not reached the levels
of reserves for which we had hoped. Some major contributors of
subscriptions have asked for leniency. Many members do not pay according to
what is stipulated in the rules. The Swiss Franc is very strong, and
subscriptions paid in local currency lose value when they are transferred
to Geneva.

The new structure, anticipating a development that had come anyhow, is
likely to require increased contributions both for sectorial and for
continental collaboration.

The Board has therefore taken certain measures to increase income, but I
believe that before the year 2000 the matter will be brought to the General
Assembly again.

I tried to tell you during the Congress Opening Ceremony how we worked to
make ICA more effective in a changing environment. It is fascinating, but
also a little frightening. Here we are at the beginning of our next
century, five years ahead of the world.

When I say 'we' I mean the Secretariat, and its very competent staff headed
by Bruce Thordarson: a friend with enormous work capacity and brilliant
intellectual skills. I also mean my colleagues on the Board, all my good
friends. A good atmosphere and mutual confidence certainly help when
decisions are difficult.

Before the elections I also have the privilege to express my gratitude to
all of you, whom I met or worked with during so many happy years of my
life. Because our cause is noble.

I also want to say something to my wife, who is present and who now and
then accompanies me on my travels. I thank you, Annhelen, for accepting me
again and again on my return from my numerous journeys, with or without
jetlag, loaded with documents and picture books from cities I visited but
never saw. I wanted to say this now, and in not too many words.

Elections will now take place and my successor, once elected, shall
immediately have the chair. Please, then, be as generous, friendly and
supportive to him as you have been to me. Once again, thank you all.