Jul 14, 1987

UNCTAD-VII: SOVIET UNION ANNOUNCES JOINING COMMON FUND.

GENEVA, JULY 13 (IFDA/CHAKRAVARTHI RAGHAVAN) The Soviet Union announced Monday it was joining the common fund agreement.

The Soviet Foreign Trade Minister, Boris Ivanovic Aristov announced this towards the end of his speech at the plenary.

The Soviet signature, and its expected follow-up soon of ratification, will bring the total signatories to 95 countries accounting for 65.2 percent of the directly contributed capital, just 1.4 percent short of the minimum two-thirds needed to bring the agreement into force.

In congratulating and thanking Aristov and the Soviet government, the President of the Conference, Bernard Chidzero, said this was "a landmark" in the history of UNCTAD and in multilateral cooperation, and thus augured well for the success of the Conference.

Chidzero also underscored the "political importance" of the Soviet decision, and said this meant that the entry into force of the common fund agreement was "within immediate reach".

The Soviet announcement is a boost to UNCTAD, and will give the soviets considerable political kudos in the G77 and the NAM, particularly in the light of the U.S. indifference, if not hostility.

Aristov said the soviet leadership had decided to take this step in response to the appeal of the non-aligned movement and the group of 77, and he would be ready to sign the agreement during UNCTAD-VII.

Aristov put the soviet decision in the context of need to stabilise commodity markets, and creation of a more stable and predictable situation in world commodity markets.

Such a situation, he noted, would be an important factor in ensuring economic security of states and implementing the UN programme for establishment of a new international economic order.

The Soviet Minister is due to sign the agreement here Tuesday, and then holds a press conference.