Finance Ministers from the Commonwealth countries have expressed their anxiety over the slow rate of progress towards a new world monetary system.
Finance Ministers from the Commonwealth countries have expressed their anxiety over the slow rate of progress towards a new world monetary system. The 33 Ministers met in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania for their annual conference on Wednesday (19th September). A new monetary system was at the top of their list of debating points. They were also expected to discuss aid and shipping problems in two days of talks. The conference was held only five days before the annual meeting in Nairobi of the International Monetary Fund, where monetary reform negotiations were expected to reach a crucial new stage.
The Ministers spent the first day discussing how a new system would affect the world's poorer nations. They were divided on one of the major issues of the proposed reform - whether the developing countries should be granted a proportionally bigger share of the new system's principal reserve asset, Special Dr???ing Rights (SDR's). The developing countries who had a large representation at the conference, were unanimous in demanding that these assets, often called "paper gold", should be distributed to countries not, as now happens, on the basis of economic strength, but on their economic need. The proposal is opposed by the United States and West Germany, but is supported by the developed countries in the Commonwealth, Australia, Britain and Canada.
The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Anthony Barber, reminded the conference of recent upheavals in world currency. He said he was disappointed that no blueprint had been drawn up for a new system, and urged the twenty nations working on the system to speedier action. The Tanzanian Prime Minister, Mr. Rashidi Kawawa expressed similar disquiet over the negotiations. He said unsatisfactory trade and monetary relationships were the root cause of instability in the world economic system.