ICA Reference Documents

The Council is the voice of archives on the world stage. Its business is based upon a number of defining documents that explain the purpose of both ICA and the archive profession.

Read the internationally adopted Code of Ethics which describes the ethical foundation on which all ICA members base their work, or take a look at the speech of Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Round Table Conference. Learn about how the ICA works through documents such as the Constitution.

All these documents can be downloaded from this website for free.


ICA Constitution


ICA Code of Ethics

The General Assembly of the ICA held in Beijing, China, formally adopted the ICA Code of Ethics on 6 September 1996.

Available in 23 languages


Universal Declaration on Archives 

The Delegates of the Annual General Meeting of the ICA held in Oslo, Norway, formally adopted the Universal Declaration on Archives on 17 September 2010.

Available in Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Welsh 

The Declaration was officially endorsed by the UNESCO in plenary session on 10 November 2011.


Internal Regulations 


Mission and Value of the ICA

This document lays out the aspirations that we share to develop and strengthen our community and the commitments that we make to one another to respect one another and share our achievements.

Available in English and French


ICA Membership Benefits 

We would like to share with our members the ICA Membership Benefits presented as a grid so you can find the benefits offered to each member depending on their category. 

Available in EnglishFrench and Spanish


ICA Planning Documents

  • ICA Strategic Plan 2021-2024

    The plan reflects the views and opinions shared during the campaign ICA by its members, for its members and represents the input from members from across the association.| Available in English and French

  • ICA Strategic Implementation Plan, 2014-2018

    Available in English and French.

  • ICA Strategic Direction 2008-2018

    The purpose of this document is to provide a clear statement of why ICA has chosen this strategic direction and what it wishes to achieve from 2008 to 2018. | Available in English, French, Spanish and Russian.

  • PCOM Strategic Plan 2018-2020

    This plan was approved on November 25, 2017. | Available in English, French and Spanish.

  • Business Plan 2008-2010

    The framework for this business plan has been informed by the draft work programmes of many branches and sections. The plan comprises the main activities in the organization until late 2010, including projects and other initiatives proposed by ICA bodies and individual members. | Available in English and French.


Declaration of the ICA Executive Board at Guangzhou, China, 10-13 April 1995

The Declaration of the ICA Executive Board at Guangzhou recommends a pragmatic approach in the settlement of archival claims arising from archives removed during war or colonialisation.

 Available in English.


ICA Annual Reports


Position Statements


Major Speeches

  • Archibishop Desmond Tutu keynote address at the CITRA conference in Capetown, South Africa, 21 October 2003. Available in English