Report from ICHO (1997)

This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
Dec., 1997
(Source: ICA Review, Vol.90 No.4, 1997, pp.51-52)

Report from International Co-operative Housing Organisation (ICHO) 
by Rolf Trodin* 

1996 and 1997 have been years of great activity for ICA Housing.

In 1996 we had the UN Conference Habitat II in Istanbul, where we
were very active. In 1997 we have had one follow-up conference in Africa
and are about to have one in Latin America.. It is may opinion that the most
important thing, we have done since I became a member of the board of
ICA Housing, was our decision to be an active actor in the Habitat II
conference. We had our board meeting, our general assembly, a photo
exhibition and three seminars in Istanbul, in order to focus on the great
priority of the conference. The purpose of the UN conference was to
address two themes of global importance "adequate shelter for all" and
"Sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world" .

After our seminars we made a statement on behalf of the co-operative
movement. I had the opportunity to address the UN conference. In my speech I 
stressed the need for government support for co-operatives. In the UN Secretary-
General's report to the UN General Assembly after the
conference he said very positive things about housing co-operatives and
quoted from our statement in several parts of his report.

The first follow-up seminar was in Kampala in April this year. For two
days, 110 participants from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Sudan
discussed the themes of Habitat. One of the main conclusions were, that we
need to discuss laws and co-operatives in different parts of the world. That
is why the next seminar in Geneva during the ICA General assembly was
about housing co-operatives and the legal framework, with examples from
Africa, Asia and Latin America. Professor Hans H. Munkner from the
University of Marburg in Germany chaired this seminar. During our
General Assembly in Geneva, we had a discussion about the regional
seminar for the Americas, that we are going to have in November in Mexico
city, in connection with the regional assembly for ICA.

Next spring we are going to have a seminar for the Asian region in Manila. 

For all these seminars we have made a package of important documents,
needed in the local work after the seminar. The package consists of a report
about our work so far, our position paper about our identity, our
constitution and rules, our statement at the Habitat conference, housing co
operatives and the "Habitat Agenda and Global Plan of Action", and a
checklist about how to start a housing co-operative. We will add a list of our
members and the names and addresses of our board members. We have also
said, that when our members use this package in their work, they should
add a document about their own organisation and the housing situation in
their country.

The UN has called for active participation in "Habitat follow-up" and to this
end we have formed a working group with me as chairman and with staff
members from ICA offices in Geneva and Nairobi.

During the General Assembly in Geneva, we decided to start a region for
Africa with Mr. Musau from Kenya as president and Mr. Tantawi from
Egypt as vice president. We also had reports from Mr. Doyle from the
American region and Mr. Hachman from the European region.

An election committee chaired by Mr. Karayalcin from Turkey had prepared
the elections. 

At our board meeting before the General Assembly, we accepted a new
member from Estonia. We also decided to have a seminar in connection
with our board meeting in Cairo in April 1998.

In the ICA General Assembly there was a seminar about the global
dimension of co-operatives. I had the opportunity to address the Assembly
and talk about UN and ICA Housing. We now have two housing members
in the ICA board, Mr. Heiser from Germany and Mr. Prikyl from the Czech
Republic. We also have two housing members in the Audit and Control
Committee, Mr. Hansen from Norway and Ms Martensson from Sweden.

* Mr. Trodin, Director of International Relations at the Union of Housing 
   Co-operatives (HSB) in Stockholm reports to the General Assembly as
   Chairman of the Housing Committee.