Resolution on The ICA Statement on Co-operative Identity

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    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
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                         January 1996

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                       Resolution on 
          The ICA Statement on Co-operative Identity  
 The Declaration on Co-operatives Towards the 21st Century 

     (submitted by the ICA Board and approved by the
               ICA General Assembly, 1995)
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1.   Since 1988 the International Co-operative Alliance has
undertaken a world-wide review of the values and principles upon
which co-operatives base their activities, with the objective of
strengthening the identity and role of co-operatives in the
global economy.

2.    Our vision of the future is that national economies will
need more elements of self-reliance, democracy  and participation
in order to enable people to have more control over their
economic and social lives.  Co-operatives will therefore become
even more important, to more people, in the future.

3.   From their beginnings more than 100 years ago, co-operatives
have been based on values and principles which differentiate them
from other kinds of enterprises. They must continue to maintain
their distinctive identity in the future. 

4.   Therefore, the ICA General Assembly, meeting on the occasion
of the ICA's Centennial Congress in Manchester, in September
1995, approves the "ICA Statement on Co-operative Identity".  

5.   The General Assembly further decides that the Statement
should replace the "Co-operative Principles", as adopted by the
ICA Congress in 1966.  It believes that the Identity Statement
provides a broad framework, applicable to co-operatives in all
countries and sectors.  If further understanding is required,
reference should be made to the accompanying Background Paper.

6.   The General Assembly addresses the following message to ICA
member organisations and to concerned national and international
governmental bodies:

a)   Co-operatives should consider including this Identity
Statement in their rules or bye-laws, should implement it in
their daily work, and should encourage their Governments to base
co-operative legislation upon it, where applicable; and

b)   Governments should understand and accept the existence of a
co-operative sector in the economy, within a legal framework
which allows co-operatives to operate as independent,
member-controlled organisations, and on equal terms with other
forms of enterprise.


7.   The General Assembly also draws the attention of ICA member
organisations to the "Declaration on Co-operatives Towards the
Twenty-First Century", and requests them to examine how they can
apply its message in order to improve the effectiveness and
impact of co-operatives in the future.