Leaders of seven countries ended summit talks on Friday (29 December) in Jamaica, with a final effort to agree on practical ways of bridging the economic gulf between rich and poor nations.
Leaders of seven countries ended summit talks on Friday (29 December) in Jamaica, with a final effort to agree on practical ways of bridging the economic gulf between rich and poor nations. The leaders of Jamaica, West Germany, Australia, Canada, Nigeria, Norway and Venezuela met in the relaxed atmosphere of a hilltop villa overlooking the Caribbean. The talks are part of the "North-South dialogue", so named because most of the world's industrialised nations are in the northern hemisphere and most of the poor ones are in the southern hemisphere.
SYNOPSIS: The summit took place a the Mount Pleasant Estate, at Runaway Bay and was convened by the Jamaican Prime Minister, Michael Manley. He and West German Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt organised the meeting because of what they called the "so far largely unproductive" dialogue between the rich and the poor countries. The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, was among the delegates.
Nigerian Head of State Olusegun Obasanjo was the only African at the conference.
Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau also took part in what Chancellor Schmidt called "a private meeting of minds". Mr. Manley said none of the leaders present had the authority to negotiate for other countries or groups of countries.
Mr. Manley said one of the main points of the summit was to discuss the particularly thorny central issue of a fund to finance buffer stocks of the world's major commodities. The idea of such a fund has been around for three years, but no agreement has been reached on who would put up the money. Recently there has been controversy on how to keep prices up during gluts and down during scarcities of such products as sugar, coffee and tin.
The complexity of the issues -- and the unwillingness of the seven leaders to lock themselves into a common negotiating position -- was underlined by their decision to issue separate statements instead of a final communique when the conference ended. The leaders also discussed the transfer of resources from the rich to the poor countries and foreign aid.