un_IAA_07_ch8 - Page 42 • 2007 Issues at AMUN The United...

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Unformatted text preview: Page 42 • 2007 Issues at AMUN The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Chapter Eight United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Commodities The second half of the 20th century witnessed the rise of liberalization and globalization in the world economy. The changes that accompanied these trends signiFcantly impacted producers, exporters and importers, especially in the developing world. One of the many challenges facing developing countries is asymmetrical information in consumer markets. Currently, 95 out of 141 developing countries are more than 50% dependent on commodities. ¡urthermore, in many of the same countries there is little or no experience with futures exchanges, which leaves farmers at a disadvantage in the world market. Commodities, the lesser-processed items ranging from bananas, cocoa, coffee, and cotton to oil, wood, and Fsh, can be drastically affected by issues ranging from Fnancing agricultural endeavors to meeting market demands, assessing market risks to complying with changing certiFcation standards, and dealing with the technological and logistical problems of competition in the globalized market. Commonly, developing countries rely upon agricultural commodities and depend upon the unstable prices their goods attain at market. While more developed countries have the infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities to process the commodities, commodity- dependent countries often export only primary products and are left with few options for survival beyond their agricultural capabilities. The United Nations Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964 to promote the integration of developing countries into the world economy. UNCTAD’s particular focus is on ensuring that domestic policies and international action are mutually supportive in the achievement of sustainable development. At its 1976 session in Nairobi, UNCTAD adopted an Integrated Program for Commodities aimed at setting prices for the primary commodities of developing countries, taking into account world in¢ation, monetary changes, and the cost of manufactured imports; all of this was in the hopes of making the market less volatile and thus providing a more stable livelihood to those dependent upon the markets. As part of the Program, the Nairobi session agreed steps would be taken to negotiate a common fund for the Fnancing of buffer stocks that would be held or sold, as conditions required, with the aim of helping to end the wide ¢uctuation in commodity prices that plagues developing countries dependent on these products as exports. In 1980, the Agreement Establishing the Common ¡und for Commodities was adopted by the UN Negotiating Conference on a Common ¡und. International agreements also have been concluded for nine commodities—cocoa, coffee, tin, olive oil, sugar, natural rubber, wheat, jute and jute products, and tropical timbers. The fund came into operation in September 1989. In 2005, the Common fund came into operation in September 1989....
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course POLI 310L taught by Professor Hody during the Spring '08 term at UMBC.

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un_IAA_07_ch8 - Page 42 • 2007 Issues at AMUN The United...

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