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UNCTAD V: A preview of the issues

Briefing/policy papers

This briefing paper sets out the issues to be discussed at the fifth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD V) taking place between May and June 1979 in Manila. The gloomy conclusion is that the Manila conference will not be noteworthy as a forum either for agreeing practical reforms, or for focussing on broad themes. In the absence of the necessary groundwork or agreement for either of these, the concern is that the conference will tend towards a kind of a high-level seminar. The paper argues that in view of the very real dangers facing the world economy it will be sad indeed if UNCTAD V is no more than a talking shop.