Summary of "United Nations Secretariat Fails to Consult with Memberstates in Developing the Conference Proposal Document for UNIDO III Conference, 1980"

 

Summary of

United Nations Secretariat Fails to Consult with Memberstates in Developing the Conference Proposal Document for UNIDO III Conference, 1980

By Dennis Sandole and Hugo van der Merwe

This Article Summary written by: Mariya Yevsyukova, Conflict Research Consortium


Citation: Dennis Sandole and Hugo van der Merwe. "United Nations Secretariat Fails to Consult with Memberstates in Developing the Conference Proposal Document for UNIDO III Conference, 1980" in Conflict Resolution Theory and Practice.


The United Nations Industrial Development Organization planned UNIDO III, the Third World Conference, for early 1980. The agenda and proposals for the conference were developed in secret, and at substantial expense, by the Executive Director of UNIDO. When revealed, the proposed agenda sparked shock and outrage from the invited nations. First, the proposals seemed primarily to enlarge and benefit UNIDO. Secondly, the proposals bore no relation to either the member state real concerns or to what was politically feasible. Third, the member nations were fundamentally offended at having been excluded from the substantive planning process.

When the conference began UNIDO's proposals were universally ignored.

In the absence of a proposal, the more radical member states put forth a draft text which called for a third-world development fund to be created. This fund would be financed by export taxes on the western, first-world nations and managed by the primarily third world members of the G-77. The document was accepted over the strident opposition of the western nations. That opposition threatened to destroy UNIDO, as the western nations threatened to boycott any further UNIDO meetings.