Date of Award

5-1-1984

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas D. Boston

Abstract

This research is basically intended to look at the problem facing developing nations. The developing nations comprise the majority of humanity today, and yet it is very unfortunate that the people in these nations live amidst abject poverty, diseases, hunger, malnutrition, and above all, a lack of control of their own destiny. A minority of humanity has benefited from a sustained economic growth. This part is largley concentrated in the developed nations of Europe, North America, New Zealand, and Japan. One of the major points of economic contact between developing and developed nations is through international markets. The developing nations depend on the export of primary commodities for the majority of their foreign exchange, which they need for food, machinery imports, and overall development. The developing countries have long sought a bigger voice in the operation of the world’s raw material markets. Having taken control of most of the primary commodity production in their territories after the end of colonialism, these countries found that the terms of trade between primary commodities and manufactures became increasingly unfavorable during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Moreover fluctuations in commodity prices and earnings, largely outside their control, contributed to internal instability and were seen as damaging to the development process. The pressures for control of commodity markets found a natural focus in the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Beginning with the first UNCTAD session in 1964, commodity questions became increasingly important in the UNCTAD meetings and became the central focus in UNCTAD IV in Nairobi in 1976, which called for the “Integrated Programme for Commodities.” The intention of this research is to first look at the inequalities between developed and developing nations and the historical, social political, and economic factors that attributed to them since colonization. Second, since international markets are the key determinant of the developing nation’s foreign exchange earning necessary for development, this study will look at the role of trade to the developing nations. As an alternative to the problems faced in the present trade practices by the developing nations, this study will finally look at the theoretical and empirical advantages of the integrated commodity program proposed by UNCTD

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