The Importance Criteria of UNCTAD

There is no denying the fact that, as UNCTAD's mandate has become multidimensional, so its achievements have therefore been of different kinds. The most significant achievements included. a) the agreement on Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) 1971; b) the setting up of the Global System of Trade Preferences among developing Countries (1989); c) negotiation of International Commodity Agreements; d) the establishment of transparent market mechanisms in the form of intergovernmental commodity expert and study groups, involving consumers and producers; e) the negotiation of the Common Fund for Commodities (1989); f) the adoption of the resolution on the retroactive adjustment of terms of Official Development Assistance debt of low-income developing countries; g) the establishment of guidelines for international action in the area of ​​debt rescheduling (1980); h) the Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries for the 1990s and I) the negotiation of convention in the area of ​​maritime transport. In addition to above UNCTAD made some contributions on matters for implementation in other forums. For example, it has contribution in the improvement of the Implementation compensatory facility for export earnings shortfalls of developing countries; the creation of the Special Drawing Rights by IMF; the reduction of commercial bank debt for the highly indebted countries promoted by the World Bank. UNCTAD had also some contribution in the area of ​​code of conduct for the transfer of technology, computerized systems in the area of ​​customs and debt management.

Although for many limitations as I mentioned earlier UNCTAD could not fulfil all expectations but it has tried and still trying with its limited resources to do its work. For the cause of the developing countries the role of UNCTAD should be strengthen. To make it more dynamic and effective some measures should be taken like as follows:

a) The Third World countries should minimize their differences and have to sacrifice their own interest for the sake of other developing countries. It will be easier for UNCTAD to work in a co-operative atmosphere than of conflict.

b) UNCTAD should give emphasis those issues in which it possesses considerable expertise. Here the proposal is not to alter its earlier position, but to focus more strongly on specific matters which are covered little if at all by other organizations. In trade field UNCTAD should give importance on consensus building. As UNCTAD provides a universal forum for policy analysis, so for consensus on trade policy issue it can help to prepare ground for later negotiations within WTO. UNCTAD and WTO should co-operate with each other in the field of international trade. It is encouraging that two organization has already started their co-operation. In their joint meeting held in 8th Oct. 1996 WTO Director General said "the convergence between WTO and UNCTAD was evidenced in regular meetings between the heads of the two organizations, joint research projects, co-ordinated technical assistance and generally a more intense working relationship at all levels of the organizations." As the main functions of WTO are the implementation and negotiation of contractual trading rules and discipline, there is considerable scope for complementarity between WTO and UNCTAD.The policy analysis and consensus building functions of UNCTAD can make essential contribution to the intergovernmental consideration of trade issues to the point where they can be fruitfully negotiated in WTO.

d) In post cold war economic environment, the need for collective action by the Third World countries to meet the evolving challenges is more important than ever. UNCTAD is the only body in the UN which has some scope to deal with global economic issues from a development perspective. UNCTAD should be equipped for that purpose.

e) UNCTAD's monitoring and analytical capacities should be increased sufficiently.

f) Its efficiency in the area of ​​foreign investment, technology transfer, competition policy regarding Multinational Corporation should be strengthening.

g) UNCTAD should prepare its answer for Third World country regarding liberalization and regional groupings.

Since it has been reorganized to make it more efficient there is no need to dismantle it. Because it still serves a primary purpose to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic nature. And UNCTAD is the only organization in the world which gives the impression of being trade and development in an integrated way which is very important.

Source by Kh.

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