HC Deb 30 June 1982 vol 26 c304W
Mr. Knox

asked the Minister for Trade when he expects the agreement establishing the common fund for commodities to enter into force.

Dr. Vaughan

The agreement establishing the common fund will enter into force when it has been ratified by 90 countries whose subscriptions comprise two-thirds of the directly contributed capital and certain other conditions are fulfilled. The deadline for receipt of ratifications was 31 March 1982, but by then only 25 countries had ratified the agreement. The United Kingdom ratified it at the end of last year. At a meeting attended by 18 of those 25 countries on 3 June, the deadline was extended to 30 September 1983. It may then be extended once more. Four more countries have ratified since 31 March. Progress in ratifying the agreement has been slow, despite two United Nations General Assembly resolutions urging ratification without delay. Unfortunately, the prospects for the fund entering into force in the foreseeable future are not good, but the United Kingdom will continue to support the fund and take an active part in the meeting of the preparatory commission. We have also offered London as a site for the eventual headquarters of the fund.