Commodities, G.A. res. 51/169, 51 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 49) at 150, U.N. Doc. A/51/49 (Vol. I) (1996).

      The General Assembly,
      Recalling its resolutions 45/200 of 21 December 1990, 47/185 of 22
December 1992, 48/214 of 23 December 1993 and 49/104 of 19 December 1994, and
stressing the urgent need to ensure their full implementation,
      Recognizing that in many developing countries, in particular African
countries and least developed countries, the commodity sector remains the
principal source of export revenues and of the creation of employment, income
and savings, and a driving force of investments and contributor to growth and
      Also recognizing the need for a better functioning of commodity markets
and the necessity of stable and more predictable commodity prices, including
searching for long-term solutions,
      Mindful of the need for developing countries, especially African
countries and least developed countries, to diversify their economies, in
particular the commodity sector, with a view to modernizing their production,
distribution and marketing systems, enhancing productivity and stabilizing and
increasing their export earnings,
      Concerned about the difficulties experienced by the developing countries
in financing and implementing viable diversification programmes,
      1.    Welcomes the outcome of the ninth session of the United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development, including the Midrand Declaration and the
document entitled "A Partnership for Growth and Development", related to the
issues of commodities;
      2.    Emphasizes the need for developing countries that are heavily
dependent on primary commodities of continuing to promote a domestic policy
and an institutional environment that encourage diversification and enhance
      3.    Notes the need expressed by developing countries, in particular
the commodity-dependent developing countries, for stable and more predictable
commodity prices, in the face of instability and decline in real terms of the
prices of many commodities;
      4.    Expresses the urgent need for supportive international policies to
improve the functioning of commodity markets through efficient and transparent
price formation mechanisms, including commodity exchanges, and through the use
of commodity price risk management instruments;
      5.    Urges developed countries to continue to support the commodity
diversification efforts of developing countries, especially African countries,
in a spirit of common purpose and efficiency, inter alia, by providing
technical and financial assistance for the preparatory phase of their
commodity diversification programmes;
      6.    Reiterates the importance of maximizing the contribution of the
commodity sector to economic growth and sustainable development in commodity-
dependent developing countries and, in this respect, stresses, inter alia,
      (a)   Trade-distorting policies and practices, including tariff and
non-tariff barriers, tariff escalation and obstacles to competition, have a
negative effect on the ability of developing countries to diversify their
exports and to undertake the requisite restructuring of their commodity
      (b)   Expansion of South-South trade in commodities offers opportunities
for intersectoral linkages within and among exporting countries;
      (c)   In line with Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and
Development, Governments should have as their objective to ensure that trade
and environmental policies are mutually supportive so as to achieve
sustainable development; in so doing, their environmental policies and
measures with a potential trade impact should not be used for protectionist
      (d)   The issues related to commodities in the context of sustainable
development should be fully taken into account by all overall review and
appraisal machinery of the implementation of Agenda 21 adopted by the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development;
      (e)   There is a need to promote research and development, to provide
infrastructure and support services and to encourage investment, including
joint ventures in developing countries engaged in the commodity and commodity-
processing sectors;
      7.    Emphasizes the importance for developing countries to process a
significant part of their commodities, and in that regard stresses the
importance of new market opportunities for their processed and semi-processed
      8.    Encourages the Common Fund for Commodities, in cooperation with
the International Trade Centre, the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development and other relevant bodies, to direct its commodity development
programmes more towards commodity sector diversification projects, as well as
to promote commodity market development in the developing countries, with
particular focus on the needs of least developed countries, and to explore
effective ways and means of using the resources of the First Account of the
Common Fund;
      9.    Urges producers and consumers of individual commodities to
intensify their efforts to reinforce mutual cooperation and assistance;
      10.   Requests the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations and other relevant international organizations to continue to provide
technical support to the basic food sector of developing countries, in
particular net food importing countries, inter alia, in meeting their
commitments under the Uruguay Round agreements;
      11.   Welcomes the technical cooperation activities that will be
undertaken by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in
collaboration with the World Trade Organization and other concerned
international organizations in the field of international commodity trade;
      12.   Requests the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development,
within the framework of its programme of cooperation with the World Trade
Organization, to provide analytical information related to the Ministerial
Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform
Programme on Least Developed and Net Food-importing Developing Countries, and
encourages it to continue to assist, in accordance with the outcome of its
ninth session, in vertical and horizontal diversification in
commodity-dependent countries and to promote the use of risk management in
favour of producers and exporters;
      13.   Requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on
Trade and Development to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-third
session on world commodity trends and prospects, with particular emphasis on
commodity- dependent developing countries in accordance with the outcome of
the ninth session of the Conference;
      14.   Decides to include the question of commodities in the provisional
agenda of its fifty-third session.



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