Foreward (1992)

This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
October, 1992
(Source: Co-operative Values in a Changing World (1992)


Ever since its establishment in 1895, the International Co-operative
Alliance has been expected by its members to act as the "Custodian 
of Co-operative Values and Principles" - the common beliefs which
unite all our member organisations.

The last review of the Co-operative Principles was undertaken
in 1966. During recent years, there has been growing feeling that
it is time for another in-depth examination of the principles in
light of rapid changes which are occurring in the world and within
co-operatives themselves.

It was against this background that Co-operatives and Basic Values
was chosen as one of the themes of the 1988 Stockholm Congress.
The Congress decided that this preliminary reflection should be 
followed by a more detailed analysis, including extensive
consultation with ICA member organizations.

To carry out this work the ICA was fortunate to secure the services
of Mr. Sven Ake Book, Chairman of the ICA Research Working Party
and former Director of the Co-operative Research Institute in
Sweden. His work has been greatly assisted by generous financial
support from our member organization Kooperative Forbundet (KF).

The "Book Report" will be the major policy document for the ICA's
1992 Congress in Tokyo and, if Congress delegates agree, the 
starting point for the subsequent review of the co-operative 

During the last three years, Mr. Book has been assisted by an
advisory committee nominated by the ICA Executive Committee.
This group has included Raija Itkonen of Finland, Lloyd Wilkinson
of the UK, Igor Vytoulev of the former USSR, Andre Chomel of 
France, Janos Juhasz of Hungary, Philip Chilomo of Zambia, Masao
Ohya of Japan, Edwin Morley-Fletcher of Italy, Hans Munkner of
Germany, Dante Cracogna of Argentina, Ian MacPherson of Canada,
Yehudah Paz of Israel and Dionyssos Mavrogiannis of the
International Labour Office. Alexander Leukhin of the ICA
Secretariat served as Committee Secretary.

This final report, however, does not necessarily reflect the views
either of advisory committee members or of the ICA. It is Mr. Book's
own assessment, based on his many years of both practical and 
academic experience, of the way in which co-operatives should
express their identity in the future. Its purpose is to help us all
by providing rich and provocative material for our on-going 
discussions about co-operative practices and the principles upon
which they are based.

Lars Marcus
ICA President