DMPQ-Write an essay on new international economic order.

The non-aligned countries were more than merely mediators during the Cold War. The challenge for most of the non-aligned countries — a majority of them were categorised as the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) — was to be more developed economically and to lift their people out of poverty. Economic development was also vital for the independence of the new countries. Without sustained development, a country could not be truly free. It would remain dependent on the richer countries including the colonial powers from which political freedom had been achieved.

The idea of a New Inter – national Economic Order (NIEO) originated with this realisation. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) brought out a report in 1972 entitled Towards a New Trade Policy for Development. The report proposed a reform of the global trading system so as to:

  • Give the LDCs control over their natural resources exploited by the developed Western countries,
  • obtain access to Western markets so that the LDCs could sell their products and, therefore, make trade more beneficial for the poorer countries,
  • Reduce the cost of technology from the Western countries, and (iv) provide the LDCs with a greater role in international economic institutions.

Gradually, the nature of nonalignment changed to give greater importance to economic issues. In 1961, at the first summit in Belgrade, economic issues had not been very important. By the mid-1970s, they had become the most important issues. As a result, NAM became an economic pressure group. By the late 1980s, however, the NIEO initiative had faded, mainly because of the stiff opposition from the developed countries who acted as a united group while the non-aligned countries struggled to maintain their unity in the face of this opposition.

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