Delegates from eighty nations were urged in Geneva on Monday (7 May) to negotiate a new more effective international sugar agreement to replace the existing 1968 accord which comes to an end on December 31 this year.
Delegates from eighty nations were urged in Geneva on Monday (7 May) to negotiate a new more effective international sugar agreement to replace the existing 1968 accord which comes to an end on December 31 this year. The economic provisions of the existing agreement are now largely inoperative.
The call came from Mr. Manuel Perez Guerrero, Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development at the opening of a U.N. conference to draft the new sugar pact.
Mr. Perez Guerrero told delegates there was a relative world shortage of sugar, due largely to adverse weather conditions in some producing countries. With demand exceeding supply the price of sugar on the world market has risen more than a third since 1968.
The present five year agreement covers about half of the entire world sugar trade. The rest is regulated by special preferential agreements. These include the British Commonwealth Sugar agreement, the United States Sugar agreement, the United States Sugar Act and the Soviet-Cuban sugar agreement.
Mr. Perez Guerrero said he hoped that if those special arrangements continued they would contribute to the stabilisation of would sugar markets and not to their disruption.
The main tasks facing the conference, he added, included determining basic export quotas, establishing price levels and providing effective machinery in the new agreement to deal with changes in monetary parities and values.
Developing countries should follow production and supply policies that assured importers of adequate and steady sugar supplies. Developed countries should modify production and trade policies, to make it possible for developing countries to increase their exports to them. "The new agreement should contribute to a better balance in production and consumption of sugar at a would level at reasonable prices," said Mr. Perez Guerrero.
After his speech the conference went into closed session. Both sugar producing and sugar importing countries are represented.
The United States and the six original members of the European Common Market - Belgium, West German. France, Italy, Luxembourg and Holland - are not members of the sugar agreement.
The conference plans to meet in two sessions. The first will last until the end of this month. The second will be in September and October.