Oct 8, 1986


GENEVA OCT. 6 (IFDA/CHAKRAVARTHI RAGHAVAN) -- An ad hoc group of experts to consider the prospects for trade an economic cooperation among countries having different economic and social systems (TRADESOC) is to meet under UNCTAD auspices in Geneva in Jan. 1987.

The Ad Hoc Group is to consider and recommend proposals conducive to the promotion of trade and economic cooperation among countries with different economic and social systems, with particular consideration given to the interests of third world countries.

This is one of the results of the just concluded session of the UNCTAD's Trade and Development Board.

The entire issues of East/West and East/South trade and economic relations, a long-pending issue on the UNCTAD Agenda, was considered in a sessional committee, chaired by Poland's M. Paszynski.

The report of the sessional committee to the board showed that while all groups appeared to favour further work on promoting East/South trade and economic relations, the OECD group was against consideration of East/West trade issues, either at UNCTAD inter-governmental level or in studies and documentation of the Secretariat.

The OECD spokesman in the committee, the delegate from the U.S., questioned the view that there a significant, direct link between East/west and East/South trade, or that benefits would flow automatically to third world countries as a result of increased East/West trade.

While there were no agreed decisions, a chairman's summing up in the report of the sessional committee, adopted by the board, said that a boar understanding had emerged that a process should be continued, leading to the adoption of proposals conducive to the promotion and trade and economic cooperation among the countries with different economic and social systems.

Particular attention should be given in this to the interests of third world countries, and the proposals should be based on "a pragmatic approach and reflecting the recognition of the changes that have taken place in this field", since the adoption of UNCTAD conference resolutions at Nairobi in 1976.

The Chairman's summing up said that the Ad Hoc Group of experts to meet in January nest should reflect on all papers submitted for the consideration of the board at its 33rd. session, as well as the views expressed in the sessional committee.

The experts should on this basis arrive at identification of "result-oriented measures" and give "a fresh impetus" to further expansion of East/South and East/West trade and economic cooperation.

The experts group is to report to the next session of the board.

The UNCTAD Secretariat is expected to continue the work it has undertaken on the elaboration of proposals for the promotion of these trade and economic cooperation.,

The Chairman's summing up also said that the sessional committee had noted the development of UNCTAD's technical assistance programme in this field, and recognised the need for further strengthening and enlargement of the scope and content of this programme.

The committee reiterated its request to the UNCTAD Secretary-General for continued consultations with the administration of the UNDP for inclusion of this operational programme of technical assistance in the fourth UNDP cycle (1987-1991).

The Secretary-General of UNCTAD was also invited to seek voluntary contributions to ensure adequate financial support for this technical programme.