Aug 1, 1987
UNCTAD-VII: MOVING TO A CLOSE – WHIMPER OR BANG?GENEVA, JULY 30 (IFDA/CHAKRAVARTHI RAGHAVAN) – Conference President Bernard Chidzero brought in Thursday six of the Ministers and persons with equivalent rank attending the Conference, and gave them responsibility in different areas to work out agreements on policies and measures. Switzerland’s F. Blankart, director of the Swiss Federal Office for External Economic relations was requested to tackle commodity issues, while the west German Economics Minister, Martin Bangemann was entrusted with the problems in the area of trade. Debt issues were asked to be dealt with by Argentina’s Planning Minister, Bernardo Grinspung. Sweden’s Foreign Trade Minister, Ms. Anita Gradin was entrusted with the issue of least developed countries (LDCS), and Yugoslavia’s Minister for Cooperation with developing countries, Ibrahim Tabakovic was entrusted with problems of policies and measures for LDCS that have bearing on other areas too -–commodities and integrated programme for commodities, debt, and trade, domestic policies, differentiation, etc. Colombia’s Samuel Alberto Yohai, Director of the Foreign Trade Institute, was asked to tackle the issues in the area of monetary and related questions as well as financial resources for development. The Ministers are expected to work in small groups with the spokesmen of the regional groups, in an effort to produce agreed texts in each of the areas, taking the papers that have been submitted to the President’s Contact Group form the two groups that worked on these issues over the last 48 hours. The Conference is due to wind-up Friday, and as of Thursday evening, Chidzero seemed determined to conclude it by Friday night. But logistically it would depend on what these small groups achieve, and can be put through the contact group, and all these bits and pieces together into a final document. Chidzero has also been separately working on an assessment document – an area of considerable possible divergences between the views of the Group B countries and other regional groups. While these procedural and other steps to bring the Conference to a successful conclusion were taking place, it is increasingly becoming clear that little will come out of the Conference in terms of actions to deal with the growing economic crisis in the world economy that only the complacent in positions of power in the north are unable to see, and even less will be implemented.