1. Name and Status
The name shall be the International Cooperative Agricultural Organization (ICAO), here-in-after referred to as the ICAO or the Organization. The ICAO has the status of a Sectoral Organization of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).
2. Objectives and Methods
The principal aim of the Organization shall be to safeguard the interests of its member organizations, to pursue research into the latest developments in the agricultural cooperative movement, to promote mutual understanding and economic collaboration among agricultural cooperatives and between agricultural and other cooperatives—consumers, fisheries, insurance, housing, etc.—both at local and global level. In order to achieve these goals, the ICAO will:
- Organize and seek sponsorship for meetings such as seminars, workshops, etc. on specific agricultural topics of mutual interest for member organizations.
- Promote and encourage agricultural cooperatives especially in developing countries and transitional economies and help find assistance for their establishment when requested.
- Set up a comprehensive documentation on agricultural cooperation in all countries—with a view to analyzing and synthesizing this documentation from both the organizational and functional point of view—and circulate such documentation in the name of the ICA or the ICAO.
- Survey issues facing agricultural cooperatives in different countries to identify problems common to agricultural cooperatives.
- Formulate and provide its constituent organizations with proposed solutions to these common problems at national and international level.
- Carry out specific tasks within the field of agriculture that are recommended by the Board or the General Assembly of the ICA.
- Suggest such tasks to relevant organizations and bodies. The ICAO shall especially strive to represent cooperatives that are affiliated to the ICA.
- National and international agricultural cooperatives that are affiliated to the ICA, either directly or through their apex organizations, are eligible for ICAO membership.
- Every member in good standing of the ICA, as defined in the ICA statutes, who wishes to participate in ICAO activities can be an ICAO member.
- Every associate in good standing of the ICA, as defined in the ICA Statutes, who wishes to participate in ICAO activities can be an ICAO associate.
- Members and associates that withdraw from ICA will no longer hold their ICAO membership.
- Withdrawal from the ICAO shall be admissible on receipt of one year’s notice in writing to the ICA and the ICAO.
4. Organizational Bodies
- General Meeting
- Executive Committee
5. General Meeting
- A General Meeting shall be convened once a year and coincided with the ICA General Assembly if the two are to be held during the same year. An extraordinary General Meeting shall be called at the discretion of the Executive Committee. The agenda shall be circulated at least six weeks before each meeting.
- Member organizations shall be entitled to appoint no more than four delegates to General Meetings. The delegates have the right to take the floor.
- Each member organization shall have one vote at General Meetings and decisions shall be taken by a simple majority vote by those member organizations attending the meeting. In the case of equality of votes, the President shall have a casting vote.
- The function of the General Meeting shall be to:
- Determine the general policy of the Organisation.
- Approve the annual report on activities of the Executive Committee and the financial report.
- Elect the President who shall be the chair of the Executive Committee, to elect four Vice Presidents and other members of the Executive Committee
- Approve the work program and the annual budget for the following year.
- Set up, as considered desirable, sub-committees or regional committees on the suggestion of the Executive Committee.
- Approve the application for membership of international organizations.
6. The Executive Committee
- The Executive Committee shall be convened at least once a year. Meetings can be held via communication means that allow for a collective deliberation-such as phone or video conference-as well as via written procedure such as an email exchange.
- Members of the Executive Committee:
- The President, Vice-Presidents and Executive Members shall be the members of the Executive Committee. The Committee shall include at least one female representative.
- The President shall be elected at the General Meeting.
- Vice-Presidents shall be elected at the General Meeting based on recommendation of the four regions: Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe.
- Executive members shall be elected at the General Meeting based on the recommendations of the Vice-Presidents. Number of Executive Members shall be allocated to each region in proportion to the number of member organizations in each region, one person for every four members.
- All members of the Executive Committee, including the President and Vice-Presidents, shall have a term of four years. Re-election shall be permitted, but the re-election of the same person shall be restricted to be not more than two terms.
- If any of the Executive Committee members is not able to complete the four-year term, the off-year election to fill the vacancy shall be held at the General Meeting. Those who are elected to fill vacancy will serve to the end of Mandate of his/ her predecessor not a full four-year term.
- The functions of the Executive Committee shall be to:
- Prepare the general policy and work program, implementing the objectives of the organization. It may also prepare standing orders for meetings.
- Give an annual report on its activities to the General Meeting.
- Present the annual accounts and make proposals for the budget.
- Decide on admission to membership. In cases of dispute, an appeal can be made to the General Meeting.
- Evaluate the conformity of the requirements of membership according to the Statutes of the ICAO. It may request the ICA Board to expel a member on the grounds of non-compliance to the present Statutes or the ICA Statutes and By-Laws.
- Decide on application for membership of international organizations.
7. The Secretariat
The Secretariat shall be responsible to the Executive Committee for the operational and administrative work of the Organization. It shall be responsible for maintaining a proper record of accounts, issuing reports, convening meetings, updating the official website and undertaking such other duties as the Executive Committee may from time to time decide. The Secretary shall be appointed by the President and location of the Secretariat shall be decided by the President.
8. Relationship between Members and Secretariat
- In order to ensure the most effective presentation of cooperative views on agricultural questions at the international level, each member organization may appoint a member of its Board, or a staff member in a leading position, as a contact person with the ICAO, and as a focal point for all matters of agricultural interest.
- Such contact person shall keep the Secretariat of the Organization informed on developments of agricultural interest in the countries in which their organizations operate. They will pass on to the appropriate departments, responsible for publications within their own organizations, all statements that may be made, or publications that may be issued by the ICAO.
- Such contact person may also assist the Secretariat in planning and arranging of meetings and in conferences and in all other ways deemed necessary.
9. Official Languages
The working language for the Executive Committee meetings and General Meetings is English. If necessary, the Executive Committee may change the meeting language.
10. Relationship with the ICA Board and ICAO Secretariat
The ICAO will shape the closest collaboration with the ICA Board and ICA Global Office. Upon their request the ICAO may represent ICA in dealings with international, governmental and non-governmental bodies, but more specifically with organizations involved in agricultural activities.
- The Executive Committee will adopt a budget for the ICAO each calendar year, for the approval of the ICA, showing the expected allocation to the ICAO of ICA subscriptions, revenues and in-kind contributions from any other source and planned expenditures, whether cash or in-kind.
- All expenses incurred as a result of attendance at meetings shall be borne by member organizations. However, the President may use his discretion to finance the travel expenses of the delegates should he receive such requests.
- The Executive Committee will appoint one of its members to be the auditor, who will launch an audit of the Organisation’s accounts before the General Meeting. The findings will be presented at the General Meeting.
12. Accounting Year
The financial year is the calendar year.
The quorum for Executive Committee meetings is five persons, and for General Meetings, the quorum is ten persons.
14. Application for Membership of International Organizations
- The ICAO may apply for membership in international organizations in order to collaborate with them especially in the field of agriculture and related sectors.
- The Membership shall be in line with the ICAO strategic plan in determining the relevant organizations.
15. Amendments to Rules
Any amendments to the Rules shall require a two-thirds majority of votes at the General Meeting.
- The ICAO may be dissolved by a decision of the General Meeting on the recommendation of the Executive Committee. Such a decision shall be taken at a General Meeting where at least two-thirds of the member organizations are represented, three-quarters of whom vote in favour of dissolution.
- Any meeting approving dissolution shall also determine how any debts should be paid. In the event of any surplus remaining after dissolution, it shall be placed at the disposal of the ICA.
17. Other Matters
For all other matters not covered by the Rules, the Organisation shall refer to the ICA’s Articles of Association and By-laws.