Editorial (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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Dec, 1997
(Source: ICA Review, Vol.90 No.4, 1997, pp. 3-4)

Editorial
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Dear Readers,

The ICA Staff were happy to have had the opportunity of welcoming
delegates from our member organisations throughout the world to the
second General Assembly to be held in Geneva since the new ICA
structure was adopted in Tokyo in 1992. 

Organising a major meeting for over 600 people, in addition to some
40 peripheral meetings, poses quite a challenge to such a small
Secretariat and certainly makes us aware of the enormous efforts made
by host organisations when ICA meets in other countries. However,
it also gives the Director-General and his team an opportunity to show
members their working environment and return in a small way the
hospitality received from fellow co-operators from different parts of
the world.

Ring out the old, ring in the new
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This General Assembly was a sad time for many of us as elections
invariably mean the departure of co-operative friends who have served
on the ICA Board and other bodies. 

Our President since the ICA Centennial Congress of 1995, Graham
Melmoth from the CWS (UK), has been a loyal and staunch supporter
and friend to each and every member of the ICA Secretariat, besides
being a great leader. During the  short time he has led the organisation,
he has championed many causes, not least of them being his commitment
to redress the gender imbalance within the movement starting with the ICA
bodies. Unfortunately, the pressures of steering his own organisation
(through recent attacks on the movement in the UK) have meant that
Graham could not seek re-election for the position of ICA President and
ICA staff join the many co-operators world-wide who will miss
his pragmatic and dynamic leadership and wish him well for the future. 

We are fortunate to have as his successor another great leader and long-time
friend of the ICA in Roberto Rodrigues from Brazil who is so well
respected in his homeland that over 150 Brazilian co-operators,
parliamentarians and friends travelled to Geneva to support him during
the elections.

We were also sad to lose Raija Itkonen from Finland who has served as
the only female member of the ICA Board for many years. She hands over
the baton to Stephania Marcone from Italy and Rahaiah Baheran from
Malaysia, who will ensure that the female perspective is considered when
policy issues are being discussed.

We also bid farewell to other Board and Audit and Control members:
Holger Hasle Nielsen from Denmark, Jacques Moreau from France, Ivano
Barberini from Italy, Ota Karen from the Czech Republic, Markus Schelker
from Switzerland and Hakaru Toyoda from Japan whose experience and
ideas have been greatly appreciated and we wish them the very best for the
future. 

We would also like to welcome all new members of the Board and Audit
and Control Committee. Some brief information about the 1997-98 Board can be 
found on pages x x to xxx as it appears on the ICA Web Site 
(see http://www.coop.org/en/people/newicaboard.html ).

Communications and the New ICA President
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In order to work more closely with the membership and with those who are
interested in maintaining close contact, our new President will publish
regular messages in this Review, beginning in 1998. We have also set up a
web-page which will include regular messages from Roberto Rodrigues
together with his most recent speeches. There will also be a facility available
for those who want to send him greetings, ideas and suggestions. Please
visit these pages at http://www.coop.org/en/president.html

Please keep sending us your views and comments and we will endeavour to
keep these in mind when preparing work programmes and editorial plans.
The editorial address is included on the back of this review or send an
e-mail to treacy@coop.org.  And don't forget to visit the ICA website at
http://www.coop.org

We wish all our readers a happy time during the holiday season and a
prosperous and joyous New Year in 1998.

With many thanks for your loyal support and co-operation during this past
year.

Mary Treacy
Director of Communications