Magazine article UN Chronicle

General Assembly Approves Special Economic Plan for Central America

Magazine article UN Chronicle

General Assembly Approves Special Economic Plan for Central America

Article excerpt

Assembly on 12 May at the end of a two-day resumed session, In adopting resolution 42/231 by consensus, the plenary urged the international community to increase technical, economic and financial co-operation with Central American countries. The urgent need to provide those countries with financial resources on concessional and favourable terms was emphasized.

A team of United Nations experts, which traveled in the area and consulted with country officials, devised the wide- ranging special plan which includes innovative approaches to problems of debt and refugees. The fortysecond Assembly, in its resolutions 42/1 and 42/204, had asked that such a plan be prepared. The UN team was organized by Augusto Ramirez-Ocampo, named Coordinator of the plan by UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellan International organizations and potential donor Governments were also consulted.

The Secretary-General was asked to promote, co-ordinate and monitor the plan, while the UN system was asked to take immediate steps to mobilize additional financial resources and participate actively in its implementation.

After the plan's approval, Costa Rican Vice-President Victoria Garron de Doryan, speaking also on behalf of the Vice-Presidents of the four other Central American countries-El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua-said the five countries could now proceed to the decisive stage in consolidating regional peace, For the plan to become a reality, she stressed, countries which could should contribute "in a timely fashion, bearing in mind the scale and urgency of our economic and material needs".

Prosperity: No longer a mirage

Guatemalan Vice-President Roberto Carpio Nicolle, speaking also on behalf of the VicePresidents of the other four Central American countries, said Central America was determined to solve its problems by itself and demanded recognition of its right to forge its own destiny, without foreign interference or intervention.

Alexander Count York von Wartenburg of the Federal Republic of Germany, on behalf of the 12 member States of the European Economic Community (EEC), said some proposed activities in the plan coincided with those the Community was already carrying out in Central America. The EEC wanted regional initiatives for Central America's economic' development, such as a common market.

Evzen Zapotocky of Czechoslovakia, speaking also on behalf of Byelorussian SSR, Bulgaria, German Democratic ' Republic, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, USSR and Ukrainian SSR, said the implementation of the special plan would help establish stable and lasting peace and promote socio-economic development in Central America.

Tom Eric Vraalsen of Norway, on behalf of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), said all nonregional countries with links and interests in Central America should contribute to the region's efforts to achieve peace, democracy and economic development.

Amin Magzoub Abdoun of Sudan, on behalf of the African Group, said South/South cooperation and technical cooperation among developing countries could play a role in alleviating the economic and social burdens of the Central American region. A programme of economic co-operation between Central American States and members of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was feasible.

In the direction of peace

Mr. Perez de Cuellar told the Assembly on 11 May that the Governments and peoples of Central America had taken a first step in the direction of peace and development. In Central America social problems, particularly conditions of poverty, had become a primary cause of aggravated political tensions. Hence, peace required a development that would guarantee decent living conditions for the population and respect for human rights.

While peace was a necessary condition for development, he observed, it was not sufficient in itself Consequently, a prolonged and systematic effort on the part of Governments and civilian societies would be necessary. …

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