Message from Mr. Yang Deshou, ICA Vice President for Asia and the Pacific (1998)
(Source: ICA in Asia and the Pacific -Annual Report 1997, pp. 1)
At a time when the region of Asia and the Pacific is being possessed by the ill-effects of the financial crisis, ICA ROAP has made a number of important steps to strengthen its regional office as well as provide useful services to its member organizations. The Co-operative Ministers' Conference in Thailand, the Special Workshop on the ICA Co-op Identity Statement in India, and various sector-based activities such as in Agriculture, Consumers, Women, and Youth are just some examples.
Timely institutional adjustments made by and within ICA ROAP also helped to increase the confidence of member-organizations towards the ICA. It is apparent that the ICA ROAP is constantly aware of the prevailing regional realities and, under the leadership of the newly appointed Regional Director, has the capacity to tailor their development services accordingly.
The decision-making structure at the global level of ICA has also been more balanced with the addition of two more board members coming from the Asia Pacific region, including Senator Rahaiah Baheran from Malaysia as the first ever woman member from this region. The Standing Committee met in Thailand in March 1997, and has been instrumental in setting the basis for a better policy structure. It has also become a practice for ICA Board members from this region to have their meeting prior to the official Board meetings. A concerted effort has developed as a result of close coordination between the Vice President and the Regional Director in this region.
At the ICA ROAP itself a restructured office will pro-mise more efficiency and effectiveness in meeting members' needs. This provides the needed impetus to tackle on-going challenges in the region. The Regional Assembly scheduled for October 1998 in Seoul, Korea, will be a good forum to take stock of the progress made and to adjust the structure of governance that best meet the challenges for the coming century.
I trust all ICA members in Asia and the Pacific join me in giving the Regional Office, under the Directorship of Mr. Robby Tulus, its well deserved stronger support to reach new heights in serving for co-operative development in all Asian and Pacific countries in the years to come.