• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: The United Nations conference on the plight of the world's 31 least developed nations has been held in Paris.

  • Description

    GV Arrival of Dr. Waldheim at UNESCO building, Paris

    SV Cameraman

    Dr. Waldheim greets Kenya's President

    GV Arrival of French F.M. Cheysson

    GV & SV Mitterrand arrives, greeted by Dr. Waldheim, walks up steps into building (3 shots)

    GV INT Mitterrand speaking from rostrum in French

    Initials PM

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: INTRODUCTION: The United Nations conference on the plight of the world's 31 least developed nations has been held in Paris. In his inaugural address on Tuesday (1 September) French President Francois Mitterrand said the industrial countries must give the poor nations the means to survive and opportunity for a better future. President Mitterrand painted a stark picture of the widening gap between the rich and poor countries of the world. He said the 20th century will leave behind a bad impression if no action is taken.

    SYNOPSIS: The conference was held at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris, which is the educational and community branch of the United Nations. U.N. Secretary-General Dr. Kurt Waldheim was an early arrival.

    Among the heads of state to be greeted by Dr. Waldheim was Kenya's President Daniel Moi.

    Also attending the opening ceremony was the French Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson who had just returned from a three-nation Middle East fact-finding mission.

    A large crowd joined Dr. Waldheim in waiting to greet the French President. The attitude of the host country was expressed by conference chairman, Jean-Pierre Cot, France's Cooperation and Development Minister, who said success depended on decisions being made and then put into practice.

    In his address, President Mitterrand said the choice of Paris as the site for the conference was more than just an honour for France, it was a symbol which demanded commitment. He said his government's effort to achieve greater justice and dignity in the face of obstacles and occasionally limited means did not stop at the French borders.

    On the issue of unemployment, M. Mitterrand said it was a problem that degrades men and destroys the future in the same way which in all countries, rich and poor, it tears men away from the soil, driving them into cities where they find doors are closed. The French President predicted that by the year 2000, a billion men in the north and south may know the misery of unemployment. He also called for the spirit of solidarity to prevail, saying solidarity leaves no room for divisions.

    M. Mitterrand asked the delegates to the conference to adopt a new programme for the 31 'least developed countries' to ensure that their period of long denial will end.

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