8:53 AM Oct 19, 1994


New York 18 Oct (TWN) -- The partnership and commitments in the UN Declaration on International Economic Cooperation and Development Strategy for the fourth UN decade should be given a new impetus and the arsenal of measures there updated and implemented through the Agenda for Development, the Group of 77 and China have stressed.

Speaking for the G77 and China, in the second committee debate on this issue Wednesday, Merzak Belhimeur of Algeria, said that four years after the Assembly Declaration, the results were rather limited.

The same constraints facing the Third World remained; heavy debt burden, unfavourable terms of trade, continued drop in commodity prices, problems of market access in developed country markets and the persistence, in the domestic level, of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy.

The UN declaration, the G77 spokesman said, was a North-South "contract" for co-development and rational management of the world economy.

But while the developing countries had carried out their part of the contract through courageous economic reforms, and this had led to some positive results in growth, these were far from the seven percent needed to ensure a genuine transformation of their economies.

The mobilization of financial resources considered by the strategy to be an essential condition for re-starting development in the Third World deserved to be settled once and for all, the Algerian delegate said. Also essential in the same context, he added, was the settlement of the debt problem in all its dimensions.

On the trade front, the conclusion of the Uruguay Round opened up new opportunities, provided the consensus set at Punta del Este and reaffirmed in the UNCTAD-VIII Cartagena Commitments for special and differential treatment for developing countries was implemented.

Similarly, on the commodity front, the restart of demand in the developed countries, coupled with a halt to speculative practices and manipulations on the international commodity markets should result in better remuneration for Third World commodity exports. Financial and technical assistance was also needed for diversification policies -- both horizontal and vertical.

Far from being a philanthropic act, the full implementation of the commitments in the Declaration on the Development Strategy was an urgent obligation.

"The world of today, and of tomorrow, cannot accommodate itself to existence of little pockets of prosperity within oceans of poverty and the tightening interdependence among nations calls for the establishment of genuine cooperation for development for the benefit of all."

By relying on efforts of Third World Nations (and carrying out their own commitments), the industrialized countries would contribute not only to progress and well-being in the developing countries, but also removing sources of political and social instability.

From these perspectives, the Agenda for Development offered a precious opportunity to give new impetus to the spirit which prevailed when the Declaration was adopted, and put into operation the arsenal of measures set there, bringing them up to date in the light of the latest developments, the G77 concluded.