ICA Regional Assembly - Asia (1996)


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This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
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February, 1997
(Source: ICA in Asia and the Pacific -Annual Report 1996)



				Regional Assembly Meeting
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The Second Meeting of the ICA Regional Assembly for Asia 
and the Pacific was held at Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, on 13th 
& 14th June, 1996. 166 delegates/observers from 22 
countries viz. Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, 
Iran, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, 
Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan, 
Vietnam, Sweden, England and Hungary attended the meeting.  
In addition, special invitees from IDACA and ILO Co-opnet 
Project also attended the meeting.  

The inaugural session started with prayer followed by welcome 
address by Royal Prof. Ungku A. Aziz, President of 
ANGKASA, and addresses by Mr. Graham Melmoth, President 
of ICA and Mr. B.S. Vishwanathan, Chairman, ICA Regional 
Assembly for Asia and the Pacific.

The Meeting was inaugurated by the Hon'ble Dato Seri Anwar 
Ibrahim, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.  Hon'ble Datuk 
Osu Haji Sukam, Minister of Land & Co-operative  Development,
Government of Malaysia,  and other senior officials were also 
present.

Royal Prof. Ungku Aziz, Malaysia, was elected as Chairman of 
the Regional Assembly for the next two years, who took the 
chair. Mr.Shahid Ullah, Bangladesh, was elected Vice-Chairman.

One of the debated issue was the creation of a continuing Standing
Committee to oversee the working of the ICA ROAP.  Some argued 
that it is not necessary to create more committees but to work at the 
field level.  Reference was made to the modern communication systems,
which would facilitate quick decision-making.  However, there was 
a consensus to have a standing committee to lead the ICA ROAP 
for more focused activities and to work on the financial aspects.  
The Assembly agreed to have the following members in the committee:

1.	 Mr. H. Toyoda, Vice President, ICA
2.	 Prof. Ungku A. Aziz, Chairman, Regional Assembly
3.	 Mr. Yang Deshou, China, Member of Board
4.	 Mr. Y. Paz, Israel, Member of Board
5.	 Mr. B.S. Vishwanathan, India, Member of Board

The committee would decide on its terms of reference.

Some of the members wanted to strengthen the ICA ROAP by 
receiving a better share from member contributions and 
increasing the representation of the Region at the ICA 
board level.

ICA President, Graham Melmoth, who was also participating 
at the meeting, on his first visit to the Region, undertook to take 
up this issue with the ICA Board. 

The Regional Assembly approved the 4-year work plan of the 
ICA ROAP, which would commence from 1997.

Another development at the Regional Assembly was the approval 
given to set up a Regional Women's Committee and a Housing 
Committee.  These proposed committees would have working 
committees to formulate constitutions which would be presented 
at the next Regional Executive Committee meeting in Thailand in 
March 1997.  The Regional Assembly also approved the adopted 
version of the constitution for two specialized committees - 
consumer committee and the HRD committee

(The meeting adopted the following Resolution):

Resolution on Food Security and World Food Summit
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"Considering that more than 800 million people are now suffering 
from hunger and malnutrition, we, the representatives of 500 million 
ICA-affiliated Asian and the Pacific farmers, are deeply concerned 
about the present food shortage and soaring grain prices in the world 
market.

In an effort to overcome the food crisis situation, we are willing to 
participate in FAO's efforts, in particular in drafting the Policy Statement
and Plan of Action at the World Food Summit to solve the global food 
problems.  We hope that the Summit meeting will be in a right track in 
working out an epoch-making solution to the world food insecurity and 
unsustainable development of agriculture for both present and future
generations.

In the Asia-Pacific region with over sixty per cent of the world's 
population, food situation is being exacerbated by such factors as rapid 
increase of population and demand for more nutritious foods, 
and shrinkage of agricultural base caused by industrialisation and 
trade liberalisation.  It is said, therefore, this region will be the core 
of global food problems in the near future.

In solving the food problems, it is essential to encourage the vital role 
of the family farms in food security and environmental conservation.  
The family farming which is a dominant farming mode in the region is 
the base of food security and also best suited to safeguard rural 
communities and environment while it has weak competitiveness in 
the market due to the small management scale.

Agricultural co-operatives as the policy partners of respective 
governments, have actively participated in formulating and 
implementing agricultural policies related to production, processing, 
distribution and consumption of food, and contributed to food 
security through organising small family farms, thus enhancing 
their competitiveness.  Therefore, we urge that respective governments 
should expand their policies of providing the family farms and their 
organisations with incentives to promote their vital roles.  And the 
various advantages of farming activities performed by the family 
farms should be fully realised.

Meanwhile, we must point out that the global food situation 
has been aggravated since the inauguration of the World Trade 
Organisation last year, which has weakened the economic viability 
of the small family farms in the region.  We, however, firmly believe 
that the best way to achieve the global food security is to increase 
food production in each country through optimizing its available 
agricultural and natural resources, and that every measure for 
supporting food production and protecting food market should be 
fully allowed.

Finally, we, representing countries, strongly recommend that the 
vital roles of the family farms and agricultural co-operatives for the 
global food security should be fully reflected in the Policy Statement 
and Plan of Action at the World Food Summit."