Magazine article UN Chronicle

Global Economy, Global Challenge

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Global Economy, Global Challenge

Article excerpt

As intricate economic lifelines among the countries of the world multiply at breakneck speed, a phenomenon difficult to imagine only a generation ago, the international community is sharply focusing its attention on the global economy and its often hard, unyielding and chaotic realities. At the United Nations, developments on three important fronts indicate that global economic health will be a top international priority in 1990.

ho The General Assembly meets in a special session, scheduled from 23 to 28 April, to discuss how the global economy can best be managed. Preparations for the gathering during the first quarter of 1990 intensified, both at public meetings and behind-the-scenes consultations. The goal: obtaining the widest possible consensus on ways to build a stable, prosperous world economy.

lo Work on a new international development strategy for the last decade of the century forged ahead. The Assembly is expected to adopt the Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade (19912000) later this year.

OF A 105-nation group finished drawing up a draft programme of action for the 1990s for the world's 42 poorest countries. The text will be submitted to the Second UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries when it convenes in Paris in September. Growth in the 1980s: Uneven and lower'

Secretary-General javier Perez de Cuellar told the preparatory meeting for the special session on world economy that its "primary objective" is to make per capita incomes in developing countries grow at least as fast as in developed countries. With few exceptions, notably in South and East Asia, global economic growth in the 1980s had been "uneven and lower" than in the two previous decades, Mr. Perez de Cuellar reported.

Many developing economies had failed to keep pace with increased population, many countries were paying less attention to human needs, and the number of the absolutely poor had increased, he added. To strive for consensus. .

At a five-day session (26 February-2 March), a preparatory committee open to all Member States approved a provisional agenda and work programme for the General Assembly's special session on international economic co-operation. The focus of this eighteenth special session will be the "reactivation of economic growth and development in developing countries".

The preparatory committee suggested that delegations "strive for consensus on matters of substance". Until it meets again, for the third and last time in mid-April, the committee will continue informal discussions on a draft declaration to be adopted by the special session.

So far, two texts have been proposed: one submitted by Bolivia, on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries; the other by Canada. Using the'peace dividend'

The 57-point draft introduced by Bolivia on 2 March stresses that the Peace dividend" resources released by disarmament-should be used to promote global economic growth and development.

A substantial increase in net resource flows to developing countries-a long-term rather than a short-term development approach correction of fiscal deficits in the United States and other developed countries, and attainment of a 0.7 per cent official development assistance (ODA) target were also needed, it was stressed.

Other measures recommended would seek to reverse the deterioration of commodity prices, integrate Eastern European countries into the market-driven economy and find "a durable and comprehensive solution to the external debt crisis in the developing world". …

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