HistoryThe United Nations at its 23th Session of the General Assembly (1968) requested the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to consider the role of cooperatives in economic and social development. In pursuance of the resolution, EOCSOC at its XLVIII session requested that the UN Secretary-General to collaborate closely with the Directors of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) as well as appropriate non-governmental organizations to prepare a programme of concerted action in the field of cooperatives that would be of significant assistance in utilizing the full potentialities of the cooperative movement in economic and social development. A series of meeting were held from 1968 to 1971 to strengthen collaboration between FAO, ICA, ILO, the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) and the International Federation of Federation of Plantation, Agricultural and Allied Workers (IFPAAW) leading to the establishment of COPAC in March 1971.
COPAC was initially known as the Joint Committee for the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperatives. In 1973, members agreed to expand the role of the committee to promoting assistance to cooperatives in general and reflected the change of focus in its name, Joint Committee for the Promotion of Aid to Cooperatives. In 1989, COPAC again changed its name to reflect its current objective, a committee for international inter-agency collaboration on activities related to cooperatives, Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives.
Aims & Focus of WorkThe objective of COPAC is promote cooperatives through inter-agency collaboration. Members have defined four major activity areas:
Promote and raise awareness- Jointly select the theme of the United Nations International Day of Cooperatives
- Provide input to United Nations Secretary-General's report on cooperatives (every second year)
- Identify policy issues to be addressed and what action will be taken to address these. This includes the holding of COPAC Open Fora.
Inter-agency technical cooperation & coordination of technical cooperatives among members- Coordinate cooperative development work with a focus on capacity building.
Policy and Advocacy- Dialogue for policy development, knowledge sharing on issues such as employment, cooperative legislation, MDGs, producer empowerment in the market, etc. See COPAC meetings and COPAC publications.
Gather and exchange information among members- Organise an annual COPAC member meeting
- Disseminate member activity reports including reports on development initiatives among members
- Share calendar of meetings in particular those on development cooperation
- Share newsletter and publications
- Maintain and develop the COPAC web site
MembershipCOPAC members are multilateral, bilateral and international non-governmental organizations having a direct interest in the promotion and advancement. .
Over its years of existence, a number of founding and core members have continued in membership reflecting their continuing recognition of the role of cooperatives to economic and social development. These include:
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- United Nations (UN)
- World Farmers Organisation (WFO)
Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC)
150 Route de Ferney
PB 2100 - 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Tel: + 41 22 929 8825 | Fax: + 41 22 798 4122 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org