Apr 25, 1987


HAVANA APRIL 24 (IFDA/IPS-CHAKRAVARTHI RAGHAVAN) -- The Sixth Ministerial meeting of the Group of 77 (G77) Third World Countries, which concluded its Plenary Session here Thursday, may finalise its report late Friday on early Saturday, according to Cuban source.

But the sources say arrangements have been made in case the meeting has to be extended throughout Saturday.

The session was recessed until Friday to await the report and recommendations prepared by the Group's Technical Committee, which has been working on the final drafts of the documents to be adopted here.

The documents are expected to contain a political declaration by the group and an overall assessment of the world economy and the development crisis.

They will also outline the group's proposals for concrete international policy measures in the areas of resources for development, commodities, trade and least developed countries (LDCS).

These proposals are to be submitted to the Seventh Session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD-VII) July in Geneva.

By Thursday evening, the technical committee had received the reports and recommendations of two of its working groups -- one on international trade and the other on least developed countries.

Two other groups -- one on commodities and the other on resources for development -- were expected to complete their work later.

A draft political declaration prepared by Egypt's Saad Alfarargi, chairman of the drafting group, was discusses Thursday in detail by the G77's three regional groups -- Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean -- to prepare for a final version.

The overall assessment of the international economy and recent trends, as well as assessment of the four sectoral areas on the agenda of UNCTAD-VII, was also in the process of being finalised in the light of comments from the regional groups.

The group's political declaration, the "Havana Declaration", is intended to provide the political basis for joint action by the members of the group in their economic relations with industrialised countries and in their own mutual economic cooperation, and to be a message to the international community as a whole.

It is expected to highlight the role of industrialised countries' policies in creating the adverse international economic environment which has led to stagnation, if not reversal, of development in the 1980's, and will stress the need for systemic changes, through the establishment of the New International Economic Order (NIEO).

The declaration is also expected to call for dialogue on a comprehensive international economic system to replace the collapsed post-war system.

This new economic system would have as its central objective development and growth, as a means of promoting peace and security.

Other features of the declaration are expected to be a reiteration of the historic role of UNCTAD as a Universal Forum for Negotiations, and a call for making the body more effective. It is envisaged that UNCTAD-VII could be used to achieve this objective.

finally, the declaration is expected to call for enhanced activities within the context of Economic Cooperation between Developing Countries (ECDC) and for effective steps to complete the first round of negotiations for the establishment of the Global System of Trade Preferences (GSTP).

Sources in the Conference Bureau said that the issue of Chinese participation in the GSTP is unlikely to be resolved or settled here, and will have to be pursued further, both by the G77 and by the GSTP Negotiating Committee.

The GSTP is currently open only to G77 members, some of which have put up resistance to the idea of China's membership, since it is not one of the G77 countries.