Achievements of UNCTAD
The achievements of UNCTAD may be discussed under the headings:
- tariff reclassification
- integrated programme on commodities
- reducing debt burden
- commodity development facility.
1. Tariff reclassification: UNCTAD worked for the development of trade by reclassifying the tariff structure. In consultation with the customs cooperation council, it conducted several technical studies for the purpose of developing nations. Products of developing countries were grouped to attract favorable tariff rates. It has also instructed the Embassies to classify the products correctly so that the developing nations would enjoy concession in the matter of tariff.
2. Integrated Programme on Commodities: Wide fluctuations in the prices of primary products being exported by developing countries cause hardship to them. Foreign exchange earnings from the export of primary products become uncertain. To stabilize the prices of primary products, UNCTAD suggested creation of buffer stock. A common fund to stabilize the prices of primary products was created under a programme called integrated programme on commodities. The initial contribution to the fund is 750 million dollars.
3. Reducing debt burden: UNCTAD reduced the debt burden of developing countries. Large amount of loans are obtained by underdeveloped countries from bilateral and multilateral sources. As a result, the debt servicing burden (repayment of loan installments and interest thereon) increased for the underdeveloped countries. The debt servicing burden accounted for a considerable proportion of foreign exchange earnings. In some cases, the whole amount of earnings earned from exports had to be spent on debt servicing. UNCTAD persuaded the creditors in the developed countries to write-off a part of the debts accumulated. Some of the developed countries agreed to the proposal and reduced the debt burden of underdeveloped countries.
4. Commodity development facility: Commodity development facility is popularly is known as second window of the integrated programme on commodities. UNCTAD conference held in May 1979 at Manila strengthened this scheme. Several developing countries contributed to the creation of commodity development facility. The developing countries benefited very much in terms of processing, marketing skills, product adaptation and infrastructure facilities.