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 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 between the agricultural cooperatives, on the one hand and the farmer and other types of cooperatives (e.g. consumers, fisheries, insurance, housing, etc.) on the other hand, both worldwide and at local level. In order to achieve these goals, the ICAO will have the tasks:
- To organize and seek sponsorship for meetings such as seminars, workshops, etc on specific agricultural topics of mutual interest for member organizations.
- To promote and encourage agricultural cooperatives especially in the developing countries and transitional economies, and help find assistance for their establishment, when requested.
- To 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 to circulate such documentation in the name of the ICA or the ICAO.
- To survey the problems which concern agricultural cooperatives in different countries, in order to ascertain which problems are common to agricultural cooperatives as a whole.
- To formulate and make known to its constituent organizations recommendations for the solutions of these common problems, both at a national and international level.
- To carry out any specific task within the field of agriculture which shall be recommended by the Board or the General Assembly of the ICA.
- To recommend and suggest such tasks to other relevant organizations and bodies. The ICAO should be a representative of cooperative bodies interested in agricultural and related questions, affiliated directly, or indirectly to the ICA.
- National and international agricultural cooperative bodies affiliated to the ICA, either directly or through their apex organizations, shall be eligible for membership.
- Every member in good standing of the ICA, as defined in the ICA statutes, who has chosen to participate in the activities of ICAO is a member of ICAO.
- Every associate member in good standing of the Alliance, as defined in the ICA Statutes, who has chosen to participate in the activities of ICAO is an associate of ICAO.
- Members and Associates who cease to be either Members or Associate Members of the ICA for any reason cease to be Members or Associates of ICAO at the same time.
- Withdrawal of membership shall be admissible on receipt of one year’s notice to the ICA and ICAO, in writing, of its intention to withdraw from ICAO.
4. Organizational Bodies
- General Meeting
- Executive Committee
5. General Meeting
- A General Meeting shall be convened once a year. It shall be coincided with a meeting of the ICA General Assembly if it is held in the year. An extraordinary General Meeting shall be convened at the discretion of the Executive Committee. The agenda shall be circulated at least six weeks before meetings.
- Member organizations shall be entitled to appoint not more than four delegates to General Meetings. 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 Organization.
- Approve the annual report on activities of the Executive Committee and the financial report.
- Elect the President of the Organization who shall be the Chairman 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.
- Members of the Executive Committee:
- The President, Vice-Presidents and Executive members shall be members of the Executive Committee.
- 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 and Europe).
- Executive members shall be elected at the General Meeting based on recommendation of 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 every four member organizations.
- All members of the Executive Committee, including President and Vice-Presidents, shall have a term of four years. Re-election shall be permitted, but shall restrict the re-election of the same person to be not more than two terms.
- If any of the Executive Committee members are not able to complete the four year term. The off-year election to fill the vacancy shall be held at the General Meeting which falls closest to date when the vacancy takes place. Those who are elected to fill the vacancy shall have service terms to fill the vacancy period plus the ordinary four year term consecutively.
- 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.
- To give an annual report on its activities to the General Meeting.
- To present the annual accounts and make proposals for the budget.
- To decide on admission to membership. In cases of dispute, an appeal can be made to the General Meeting.
- To 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 Bye-Laws.
- To 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 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 f or the meetings of the Executive Committee and General Meeting is English. Executive Committee may change language for the meetings if needed.
10. Relationship with the ICA Board and ICA Secretariat
The ICAO will shape the closest collaboration with the ICA Board and ICA Secretariat. Upon their request the ICAO may represent ICA in dealings with International, Governmental and Non-Governmental bodies, more specifically with organizations involved in agricultural activities.
11. The Finance
- The Board will adopt a budget for ICAO each calendar year, for the approval of the ICA, showing the expected allocation to 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, at his discretion, can finance some travel expenses of member organizations if he receive a request from them.
12. Accounting Year
The financial year is the calendar year.
Five persons shall constitute a quorum for meetings of the Executive, and ten persons for General Meetings.
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 Statutes
Any amendments to the Statutes 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 its Executive Committee. Such decision shall be taken at a General Meeting at which a two-thirds of the member organizations shall be represented and a majority of three-quarters of the votes cast.
- Any meeting approving a proposal to dissolve the Organization 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.