The fourth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) opened in Nairobi Kenya on Wednesday (5 May) with a plea by U.
The fourth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) opened in Nairobi Kenya on Wednesday (5 May) with a plea by U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim for international action to free developing countries from poverty and despair.
Dr. Waldheim cautioned delegates from 150 nations against relying on renewed expansion in the advanced countries to help third world economies.
He also drew attention to the lack of concrete progress in 12 years of negotiations on improving the lot of developing countries - the central issue before UNCTAD, which will concentrate on commodity problems, debts and development finance and the transfer of resources and technology to poorer nations.
But, he said, there must be no repetition of this lack of progress and everyone should work together without delay to end a plausible set of measures to take UNCTAD at least one step closer to its agreed objectives.
President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, who was to give the inaugural address did not attend the opening session. Reuters said the only explanation given for his absence was because of "unavoidable matters".
Instead, his speech calling for a Nairobi charter on far reaching economic reforms was read by Mr. Mbiyu Koinange, Minister of State in the President's office.
Prior to the speeches Kenya's Minister for Commerce E.T. Mwamunga was elected conference president.
Accepting the position Mr. Mwamunga said he did so with humility and strongly believed that the conference was a watershed in the world's economic development, which had to be crossed successfully.
United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was at the opening session ad was scheduled to address the conference later.