International Co-operative Alliance
The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is a non-governmental co-operative federation or, more precisely, a co-operative union representing co-operatives and the co-operative movement worldwide. It was founded in 1895. The ICA maintains the internationally recognised definition of a co-operative in the Statement on the Co-operative Identity
Statement on the Co-operative Identity
The Statement on the Co-operative Identity, promulgated by the International Co-operative Alliance , defines and guides co-operatives worldwide. It contains the definition of a co-operative as a special form of organization, the values of co-operatives, and the currently accepted cooperative...

. ICA represents 248 co-operative federations and organisations in 92 countries (7 October 2010).

In 2006 the ICA published the first major index of the world's largest co-operative and mutual enterprises, the ICA Global 300, which demonstrated the scale of the co-operative movement globally.

On the first Saturday of July each year, the ICA coordinates celebrations of International Co-operative Day
International Co-operative Day
International Co-operative Day is an annual celebration of the co-operative movement observed on the first Saturday in July since 1923 by the International Co-operative Alliance....


In December 2009, the United Nations declared 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives.


The ICA consists of a 20-member governing board, a General Assembly, four regions (one each for Africa, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Americas), sectoral organisations and thematic committees.

Sectoral Organisations

  • International Co-operative Agricultural Organisation (ICAO)
  • International Co-operative Banking Association (ICBA)
  • Consumer Co-operatives Worldwide (CCW)
  • International Co-operative Fisheries Organisation (ICFO)
  • International Health Co-operative Organisation (IHCO)
  • International Co-operative Housing Organisation (ICA Housing)
  • International Co-operative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF)
  • International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers' Co-operatives (CICOPA)

Thematic Committees

  • Committee on Co-operative Research
  • Communications Committee
  • Human Resource Development Committee
  • Gender Equality Committee

The flag

ICA adopted its original rainbow flag in 1925, with the seven colors symbolizing unity in diversity and the power of light, enlightenment, and progress. The new flag was adopted in 2001 at the ICA General Assembly in Seoul, Korea, to avoid confusion with other rainbow flag
Rainbow flag
A rainbow flag is a multi-colored flag consisting of stripes in the colors of the rainbow. The actual colors shown differ, but many of the designs are based on the traditional scheme of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, or some more modern division of the rainbow spectrum .The...

s, several of which had become very well known in the 20th century. The present flag shows the ICA seven-color logo on a white background. The logo depicts a quarter rainbow with a flock of stylized doves of peace scattering from the top and the letters ICA underneath. The rainbow has only six stripes (red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue) and the seventh color (purple) appears in the lettering under the rainbow. The flag exists in four different versions showing the ICA acronym in different languages (ACI in Spanish and French, IGB in German, and МКА in Russian).

External links

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