Working for a better life.

Position:United Nations agencies focusing on economic issues - Special Section - Future of the Global Economy: Challenges of the 90s

Working for a better life

Most UN funds and human resources are spent not in negotiating highly publicized and often controversial diplomatic issues, but on quietly helping two thirds of the world's people pull themselves out of poverty, hunger, ignorance and disease. Much effort also goes toward trying to make the global economy function in a smoother, more equitable way.

The Organization is currently discussing a third world plan of action geared to spur development through the year 2000. The International Development Strategy for the Fourth UN Development Decade is expected to be adopted by the General Assembly later this year.

The following are some of the major players within the extended UN family specifically focusing on economic issues:

* United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): The world's largest channel for multilateral technical and pre-investment co-operation, with 112 field offices in over 150 developing countries and territories. In 1989, there were some 5,900 UNDP-supported projects in operation, valued at $7.5 billion.

* United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD): A negotiating forum aimed at promoting international trade, particularly that a developing countries--also involved in research, conceptual innovation and policy analysis.

* General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): Sets rules for the conduct of world trade. Its aims are to liberalize international trade, reduce trade barriers and resolve trade disputes. International Trade Center UNCTAD/GATT (ITC): Aids developing countries in export promotion.

* World Bank: A group of three institutions--International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA) and International Finance Corporation (IFC)--dedicated to help raise standards of living in developing countries by channelling financial resources to those countries from developed countries.

* International Monetary Fund (IMF): Forum for consultation and collaboration on international monetary issue. Administers a code...

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