§ 23. Mr. Arnold
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether lie will now take practical steps towards a British initiative in reforming the structure of any future UNCTAD conference.
§ Mr. Dell
We shall be considering, in consultation with our EEC partners and other industrialised countries, all aspects of our approach to forthcoming UNCTAD meetings, including questions related to their effective organisation and functioning. Discussions will also be held with the UNCTAD Secretariat and Commonwealth and other developing countries.
§ Mr. Arnold
Is it not the case that the present structure of these conferences inevitably gives them an air of confrontation? Would not progress on individual 27 issues be easier to reach if less emphasis were placed on the opening statements, which, to say the least, are now the subject of serious misrepresentation?
§ Mr. Dell
It may be that the present structure of UNCTAD conferences tends in the direction of confrontation. Nevertheless, we have tried to avoid confrontation. The difficulty is to see how we can otherwise organise conferences of so many nations. After careful consideration over a number of years, the conclusion has been reached that the present structure provides the best way of conducting the conferences.
§ Mr. Hooley
Does my right hon. Friend agree that there is a basic conflict of interests to be resolved between developing countries and the Western industrial world, and that merely tinkering with the mechanism of UNCTAD will not resolve it?