73rd International Co-operative Day

    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
                         June 1995

          73rd International Co-operative Day
                (Saturday, 1 July 1995)

  Message from the International Co-operative Alliance

The ICA Centennial and the Next 100 Years of International

As the International Co-operative Alliance enters its second
century, its membership has reached over 750 million at
grassroots level and the basic principles which it promotes
have been applied to all aspects of economic and social life
on every continent.

The "Co-operative Principles", based on the traditions of a
variety of 19th century pioneers, and last revised by the ICA
in 1966, are to be submitted for review at the ICA's
Centennial Congress and General Assembly, in Manchester in
September. The new proposal, as approved by the ICA Board in
April, consists of seven principles: voluntary and open
membership; democratic member control;  member economic
participation; autonomy and independence; education, training
and information; co-operation among co-operatives; and concern
for community.

The new version of the Co-operative Principles is to be
contained within a "Statement on the Co-operative Identity",
which also identifies the basic co-operative values as
self-help, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity.
Co-operators, it says, believe in the ethical values of
honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for

While emphasising the self-help aspect of co-operatives, the
new principles also stress the wider role which co-operatives
play in the community and extend the principle of education to
reflect the importance of information in spreading the
co-operative message more widely.

The United Nations General Assembly has declared the first
Saturday of July, starting in 1995, as the United Nations
International Day of Co-operatives, coinciding with and
reinforcing the ICA's own International Co-operative Day,
which was first celebrated in 1927.

The United Nations thus recognises the contribution of
co-operatives to economic and social development as an
indispensable factor in promoting the fullest possible
participation in the development process of all population
groups, including women, youth, disabled persons and the

In his report to the General Assembly, in July 1994, the UN
Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, stated that
"co-operative enterprises provide the organisational means
whereby a significant proportion of humanity is able to  take
into its own hands the tasks of creating productive
employment, overcoming poverty and achieving social

The UN encourages Governments to consider fully the potential
of co-operatives for contributing to the solution of economic,
social and environmental problems in formulating national
development strategies for sustainable development.

In this Centennial Year, the International Co-operative
Alliance calls on its members to work with their Governments
and with United Nations Information Centres worldwide  to 
celebrate the UN International Day of Co-operatives, and to
promote the Principles of Co-operation in their members'
magazines and other publications.

The ICA also encourages its members to inform Governments
about the work and potential of co-operatives and to develop 
information programmes which make use of new communications
technology, thereby targeting young people who will be the
opinion leaders and decision makers in the next 100 years of
international co-operation.

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