Resolutions on Co-operative Identity

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

 Resolution on The ICA Statement on Co-operative Identity
          The Declaration on Co-operatives
              Towards the 21st Century
            (submitted by the ICA Board)

1.    Since 1988 the International Co-operative Alliance has undertaken a
world-wide review of the values and principles upon which co-operatives
base their activities, with the objective of strengthening the identity and
role of co-operatives in the global economy.

2.    Our vision of the future is that national economies will need more
elements of self-reliance, democracy  and participation in order to enable
people to have more control over their economic and social lives.
Co-operatives will therefore become even more important, to more people, in
the future.

3.    From their beginnings more than 100 years ago, co-operatives have
been based on values and principles which differentiate them from other
kinds of enterprises. They must continue to maintain their distinctive
identity in the future.

4.    Therefore, the ICA General Assembly, meeting on the occasion of the
ICA's Centennial Congress in Manchester, in September 1995, approves the
"ICA Statement on Co-operative Identity".

5.    The General Assembly further decides that the Statement should
replace the "Co-operative Principles", as adopted by the ICA Congress in
1966.  It believes that the Identity Statement provides a broad framework,
applicable to co-operatives in all countries and sectors.  If further
understanding is required, reference should be made to the accompanying
Background Paper.

6.    The General Assembly addresses the following message to ICA member
organisations and to concerned national and international governmental

a)    Co-operatives should consider including this Identity Statement in
their rules or bye-laws, should implement it in their daily work, and
should encourage their Governments to base co-operative legislation upon
it, where applicable; and

b)    Governments should understand and accept the existence of a
co-operative sector in the economy, within a legal framework which allows
co-operatives to operate as independent, member-controlled organisations,
and on equal terms with other forms of enterprise.

7.    The General Assembly also draws the attention of ICA member
organisations to the "Declaration on Co-operatives Towards the Twenty-First
Century", and requests them to examine how they can apply its message in
order to improve the effectiveness and impact of co-operatives in the