*ICA and the United Nations* ICA has continued to increase its collaborative activities with the United Nations and its specialized agencies since the XXIX ICA Congress (Stockholm). Collaboration has taken the form of ICA participation in various UN fora where ICA represented the interests of the co-operative movement as well as technical and financial support from the UN and its specialized agencies for ICA activities. These activities have confirmed the words of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, when he addressed participants of the Stockholm Congress reasserting the support of the UN to the development of co-operatives and praising the work of the ICA. The UN Department has provided follow-up for a number of the Stockholm Congress Resolutions including the declaration by the UN of an International Year of Co-operatives, the support for activities in the field of Literacy, the Rights of the Child and Co-operative Development. The UN/Development Liaison Officer has coordinated representation to meetings of the UN and its specialized agencies and has provided information on a regular basis to ICA members and UN bodies. Co-operative Development The ICA has collaborated in a number of co-operative development activities obtaining both financial and technical assistance from the UN and its specialized agencies including : UNIFEM (ICA/WOCCU Seminar on Women and Co-operative Credit, November/December, 1988); UNIDO (International Seminar of Latin American Industrial Co-operatives, April, 1989); UNDP (ICA/TCDC Programme in Co-operatives in Asia, 1989); UNESCO (Travel Grants for Leaders in Workers' and Co-operative Education, 1990-1991); FAO (Studies: Agricultural Co-operatives: Assessment Based on Selected Country Studies in Central America and the Caribbean; Co-operatives and Other Rural Organizations: Regional (West Africa) Assessment Based in Selected Country Studies, 1991; and FAO/ICA/ECE Workshop on Specific Problems of the Transformation of Collective Farms into Viable Market Oriented Unites, 1992); ILO (ILO/ICA/UN Centre for Social and Humanitarian Affairs Regional Workshop on Co-operatives of Disabled Persons, January 1992). The UN/Development Liaison Officer continued to represent the ICA and collaborate with the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Co-operatives (COPAC). The ICA has participated in the regular meetings of COPAC to coordinate development activities with the FAO, ILO, UN, and other NGOs working in co-operative development. The ICA was also represented and provided technical expertise in a meeting organized by COPAC in the Philippines - International Meeting on Co-operative Education and Training (October, 1990). Another joint activity with COPAC has been the United Nations Secretary-General's report, The Status and Role of Co-operatives in the Light of New Economic and Social Trends in which the ICA has provided input for the preparation of the questionnaire for the collection of information for the report and financial support for the preparation of the final report. Over the period 1988-92, the UN/Development Liaison Officer has provided information on UN priority themes for inclusion in the ICA News, as well as providing regional offices, ICA specialized organizations and working parties with information on United Nations and other development organizations' activities. In this regard, a computerized databank on ICA present and potential development partners was established in 1991, and ICA Project Information Sheets have been updated on a regular basis and disseminated to interested organizations. Environment During the period under review, the UN Department became a focal point for information regarding environment and development activities. In the early part of 1990, the Secretariat provided ICA representation to NGO preparatory meetings for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) including meetings organized by the UN in Geneva; the Centre for Our Common Future, and GLOBE 90. After the adoption of the Central Committee resolution (Madrid 1990), "Environment and Development", the UN/Development Liaison Officer provided and coordinated representation during 1991 to UN meetings on the Environment including the Second and Third Preparatory Committee of UNCED in Geneva, the FAO/Netherlands Conference on Agriculture and the Environment, UNIDO/Denmark Symposium on Sustainable Industrial Development and various working groups established under the UN agencies. In addition, the Secretariat has continued to collect information on ICA member activities in the field of environment protection, has received delegations from member organizations interested in exchanging information on environmental activities and collected general environment and development information for dissemination in ICA publications, as well as to the UN organizations and non-governmental organizations. The UN Department has provided assistance with the selection of the Environment as one of the Congress themes and has continued to provide support as necessary. The UN/Development Liaison Officer coordinated representation for ICA participation in UNCED and assisted in the organization of a Co-operative Seminar held as part of the Global Forum in Rio, Brazil. International Year of Co-operatives The Secretariat provided information to member organizations on the procedure of having an international year declared by the United Nations. Given that a Government needed to propose a resolution for the international year to the UN General Assembly (GA), members were requested to seek support from their respective governments. Due to political changes both in Asia and East and Central Europe, the ICA was unable to secure a firm commitment from a government to introduce a resolution to the GA. With the assistance of the ICA Regional Office for Central America and the Caribbean, the Secretariat is presently investigating the possibility of commemorating the centenary of the ICA with another UN event, i.e. an international day, week or month. To assist in UN representation the following persons have served as ICA Permanent Representatives providing representation and information : UN - New York R. Scherer 1988-1990 P. Sheehan 1988-1990 R. Beasley 1990-1991 UN - Vienna Dr. A.E. Rauter S. Schlifke FAO G. Vecchi L. Visani UNESCO F. Baulier UNCTAD E. A. Wohlner UNIDO V. Sielanko 1988-1990 J. Svoboda 1990-1991 HABITAT I. Hansen ECE C-J Hachmann Reports of their activities follow: United Nations - New York ICA representatives to UN-NY have over the reporting period kept in contact with the Secretariat of the UN in order to obtain information and support for the declaration of an International Year of Co-operatives. In addition, the representatives have attended meetings of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and have provided information on World Bank activities of interest to co-operatives. UN - Vienna ICA representatives to the UN in Vienna have continued ICA representation to the regular sessions of UN bodies (Peace and Disarmament, Women, etc.). In addition, regular meetings have been arranged with the Department within UNIDO dealing with industrial co-operatives, and collaboration has been strengthened with ILO-MATCOM (Material and Techniques for Co-operative Management Training). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) ICA representation at FAO has concentrated on the topic of People's Participation. The ICA representatives participated in a number of meetings in which the FAO Plan of Action for People's Participation in Agricultural and Rural Development was discussed and made a number of interventions to express ICA's support for the Plan. The ICA also followed the discussions of the FAO Plan of Action for the Integration of Women in Agriculture and Rural Development. Both the ICA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and the ICA Women's Committee participated in meetings of the FAO. United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) ICA has been particularly involved with UNIDO through its collaboration with CICOPA. The two organizations planned and organized a number of training courses for industrial co-operatives. The ICA was also represented at various UNIDO meetings on co-operatives and topic of interest to producer co-operatives including a Symposium on Industrial Sustainable Development (October, 1991). United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) The ICA was represented on the Committee on Invisibles and Financing related to trade (CIFT) which is responsible for insurance and re-insurance issues. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) The ICA representative to UNESCO has participated in a number of meetings of the UNESCO NGO Standing Committee as well as the General Conferences of UNESCO. Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) The ICA is principally represented on the Committee on Housing, Building and Planning of the Commission. Discussions have been focused on the following : urban renewal and modernization policies; human settlement problems; urban and regional planning etc. The ICA has been particularly active in topics relating to housing co-operatives in East and Central Europe. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) ICA has been represented at various sessions of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific by the ICA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) The ICA was represented by the ICA Regional Office for Central America and the Caribbean in a regional conference on the integration of women.