● Item 51: Macroeconomic policy questions:
(a) International trade and development
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established on 30 December 1964 as an organ of the General Assembly (resolution 1995 (XIX)). The 192 members of the Conference are States Members of the United Nations or members of specialized agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The principal functions of the Conference are set out in section II, paragraph 3, of resolution 1995 (XIX). The Conference held its eleventh session at São Paulo, Brazil, from 14 to 18 June 2004.
When the Conference is not in session, the 148-member Trade and Development Board carries out the functions that fall within the competence of the Conference. The Board reports to the Conference and also reports annually on its activities to the General Assembly. The Board convened its thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth executive sessions in April and June 2006 and its twenty-third special session in May 2006. The fifty-third regular session of the Board is scheduled to be held from 25 September to 6 October 2006.At its sixtieth session, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General, in collaboration with the secretariat of UNCTAD, to report to the Assembly at its sixty-first session on the implementation of the resolution and on developments in the multilateral trading system (resolution 60/184).
(b) International financial system and development
The General Assembly considered this question at its fiftieth to fifty-ninth sessions (resolutions 50/91, 51/166, 52/180, 53/172, 54/197, 55/186, 56/181, 57/241, 58/202 and 59/222).
At its sixtieth session, the General Assembly invited the multilateral and regional development banks and development funds to continue to play a vital role in serving the development needs of developing countries and countries with economies in transition; called for the continued effort of the multilateral financial institutions, in providing policy advice, technical assistance and financial support to member countries, to work on the basis of nationally owned reform and development strategies; and requested the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Assembly at its sixty-first session on the implementation of the resolution, including an analysis of the range of reasons for a net outflow of financial resources from developing countries (resolution 60/186).
(c) International debt crisis and development
The General Assembly first considered this subject at its fortieth session, in 1985, and has addressed the issue as a separate agenda item at each subsequent session (resolutions 41/202, 42/198, 43/198, 44/205, 45/214, 46/148, 47/198, 48/182, 49/94, 50/92, 51/164, 52/185, 53/175, 54/202, 55/184, 56/184, 57/240, 58/203 and 59/223 and decision 40/474).At its sixtieth session, the General Assembly invited donor countries to continue their efforts to increase bilateral grants to developing countries which could contribute to debt sustainability in the medium and long term; also stressed the need to find a solution for the debt problems of heavily indebted low- and middle-income developing countries that were not eligible for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, and in that regard invited creditors and debtors to continue to use mechanisms such as debt swaps for alleviating the debt burden of developing countries; and requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly at its sixty-first session a report on the implementation of the resolution and to include in that report a comprehensive and substantive analysis of the external debt and debt-servicing problems of developing countries (resolution 60/187).
At its fifty-ninth session, the General Assembly encouraged the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Bank and other relevant international organizations to enhance their efforts to facilitate access to market-based instruments to address commodity problems in developing countries; requested UNCTAD and FAO to explore appropriate ways of addressing declining commodity price trends and identifying best practices for dealing with persistent oversupply situations; called upon UNCTAD to continue to work, in cooperation with all interested stakeholders, for the effective operation of the International Task Force on Commodities and invited interested parties to provide voluntary financial support for its effective operation; underlined the need to strengthen the Common Fund for Commodities; and requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in collaboration with UNCTAD, to report to the Assembly at its sixty-first session on the implementation of the resolution and on world commodity trends and prospects (resolution 59/224).
<19 Oct 2006>
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