Feb 27, 1986

UNITED NATIONS: UNCTAD-VII SHOULD FOCUS ON WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS.

GENEVA, FEBRUARY 15 (IFDA/CHAKRAVARTHI RAGHAVAN)ó The seventh session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development due to be held in 1987, should focus on actions to revitalise world economic growth and development, Kenneth Dadzie the Secretary-General of UNCTAD appears to have suggested.

Dadzie is reported to have made this suggestion, at the Secretary-Generalís monthly consultations coordinators of various regional groups.

Dadzie who took office on February 3, has been engaged in consultations within the secretariat, and informally with key delegations, on preparations for UNCTAD-VII to be held in 1987, and possible agendas and themes for it.

The March session of the trade and development board is due to agree on the date, venue, and agenda for UNCTAD-VII.

On Monday, at his meeting with the Group of 77, Dadzie reportedly underlined his view that it would be 'self delusion' to think that the world economic crisis would resolve itself, and unless a strategy to reverse the situation was developed, there was a danger of a new international economic disorder, akin to the 1930's.

In his consultations Tuesday, Dadzie reportedly outlined his preliminary views both on framing an agenda and topics for UNCTAD-VII, and how the conference could express itself, in terms of agreed actions or guidance for future.

Before taking office, Dadzie had been presented with some options, arising out of internal secretariat consultations in 1985.

It had then been suggested that the conference should have the general theme of structural change, and focus on three major areas of trade expansion, services, and finance for trade and development.

Some of the traditional areas of UNCTAD concerns (commodities, debt, etc.), it was suggested, could be addressed, within this broad theme and issues, in terms of structural change and multilateral cooperation to promote it, and resulting in agreements wherever feasible or in providing guidance for future actions in UNCTAD.

In his remarks Tuesday, Dadzie reportedly suggested that the Conference should focus on a general theme related to actions needed to revitalise the processes of world economic growth and development.

The theme should enable the conference to deal with both the immediate concerns of governments, and the development of medium to long-term perspectives on the constraints to world economic growth and the needed policy responses.

Apart from the broad theme, the conference should be able to deal with a number of topics derived from the broad areas of concern to UNCTAD and its member-states debt and financing, commodities, and trade policy issues like trading system, protectionism, structural adjustment, services etc.

The actual agenda topics could cut across these broad areas, and drawing on them in an interconnected way.

There could be an item relating to the burning issues of the crisis (debt. commodity prices, protectionism, and relevant domestic policies of industrial and third world countries).

Long-term systemic and structural trends - evolution of the trading and monetary systems, development implications of services, and trade implications of technological changes - could be considered under another topic, while a third could address issues not covered elsewhere.

The conference itself could adopt a single statement, rather than a series of resolutions, providing guidance for international action on issues before it, and for specific decisions and actions to be undertaken in UNCTAD itself.

Dadzie is expected to hold further consultations over the next several days, before putting forward his specific proposals at the next meeting of the trade and development board, beginning March 10.