Kenyan Finance and Planning Minister Mwai Kibaki called for the formulation of a new, practical and just system for international trade in commodities at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Nairobi on Friday (7 May).
SCU Algerian Minister of Commerce speaking in French
GV Delegates seated
SCU Kenya Finance Minister Mwai Kibaki speaking
"While a majority of African countries had a surplus in their balance of payments of some 600 million in 1973, this surplus turned to a deficit of about 150 million in 1974. And from 1975 the deficit grew much larger. This painful development has forced most African governments to modify development plans and revise growth targets downwards. Kenya being one of the developing countries most seriously affected by international inflation has also been through this sad process. Thus most African countries cannot expect any growth in real per capita income......in these years and in fact a number of our countries are even experiencing a fall in the standards of living which are already abysmally low. We must now adopt an entirely new set of market intervention mechanisms designed and deployed through deliberate and concerted action for the equitable benefit of all our peoples. It is against this background, Mr. Chairman, that our delegation wold like to express its fullest support for the integrated programme for commodities."
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This film is serviced with English speech by Kenyan delegate Mwai Kibaki. A transcript appears below:
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Background: Kenyan Finance and Planning Minister Mwai Kibaki called for the formulation of a new, practical and just system for international trade in commodities at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Nairobi on Friday (7 May).
Mr. Kibaki said this was one of the greatest challenges before the conference. Mr. kibaki emphasised that the majority of African countries had suffered great financial setbacks in the last two years, largely because of world inflation.
He said this was mostly due to the historical fact that trade in commodities has been characterised by low and often fluctuating prices. At the same time, he said, the prices of the capital goods and other manufactured products imported by the developing countries from industrialised countries have risen steadily.
Mr. Kibaki said far from reduction in the disparity between the levels of income of the rich and poor countries, as was hoped for in the Second United Nations Development Decade, "we are witnessing a rapid widening for the gap". African countries had not been given a chance of meeting the growth target of six per cent par annum in the first half of the decade and indications were it would not do so in the second half.
Not only had some countries been forced to stop development programmes, said Mr. Kibaki, but many people's already low standard of living had dropped.
Algerian Commerce Minister Mr. Layachi Yaker said that international trade cannot be separated from the necessity of transforming raw materials on the spot in producing countries. he said it is absolutely necessary to make a special effort to improve the access of manufactured and semi-finished goods from developing countries to the markets of the developed nations.
SYNOPSIS: In Nairobi, Algerian Commerce Minister Layachi Yaker stressed the necessity of transforming raw materials on the spot in producing countries. He was addressing the third day of the United Nations Conference of Trade and Development in Kenya. Hard bargaining now lies ahead of the conference after all the speeches which have highlighted the differences between rich and poor nations. the developing countries know what they want. Their Manila programme of action agreed in February binds them to seek radical reform of world commodity markets and a massive transfer of technology and resources. There is, however, no solid front among the industrialised powers.
Mr. Yaker said it was absolutely necessary to make a special effort to improve the access of manufactured and semi-finished goods from developing countries to the markets of the developed nations. He said their industrialisation must also be increased to met an important part of domestic demand and to produce exportable surplus.
Delegates then heard kenyan Finance Minister Mwai kibaki speak.