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UNCTAD III, problems and prospects

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This briefing paper reviews the draft agenda for the third United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which opens in Santiago on April 15th. This will be the third occasion on which the developing countries have confronted the rich with the need to use trade and aid measures more effectively to improve living standards in the developing world. This paper notes the lack of progress in previous UNCTAD conferences. It argues that, rather than confronting developed countries (particularly the West) as a single large group, the ‘Group of 77’ countries (now 96) could put more effective pressure on the West by forming smaller groups with specific common interests.