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

« Archives constitute the memory of nations and of societies, shape their identity, and are a cornerstone of the information society. By providing evidence of human actions and transactions, archives support administration and underlie the rights of individuals, organisations and states. By guaranteeing citizens' rights of access to official information and to knowledge of their history, archives are fundamental to democracy, accountability and good governance » (Preamble)

Available in English, French and Spanish


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 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.


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