What is the Lima Declaration

A call for change was made in March 1975 when the Second General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), meeting in Lima, issued a Declaration and World Plan of Action.

The Lima Declaration and Plan of Action calls for the redistribution of world industry so that developing countries would have 25% of it by the year 2000. To achieve this, radical changes in traditional concepts and practices are recommended. Economic growth in poorer countries could no longer be seen as the "trickle down" benefit of growth in rich countries. To close the gap between richa nd poor nations the developing countries would have to grow faster than the developed countries. With this end in mind, the Lima Declaration sets out the "main principles of industrialisation" and defines the "means by which the international community as a whole might take broad action to establish a New International Economic Order".   

The Declaration envisages a process of "continuous consultations" in redeploying world industry and bringing about a new didvision of labour internationally. To facilitate this, it was recommended that UNIDO become a specialised agency of the United Nations, with a new Industrial Development Fund, and undertake the central co-ordinating role in changing the world industrial map.

The Lima Declaration calls upon the developed countries to eliminate barriers to trade with developing countries and encourage their manufactured exports. They are asked to "restructure" their industries in order to deploy production capacity to developing countries and to expand technical assistance programmes. They are also asked to co-operate in ensuring that the activities of transnational corporations conform to the economic and social aims of developing countries in which they operate. They are further asked to avoid discriminatory and aggressive acts against States which exercise sovereign rights over their own natural resources. All these recommendations are, in differing degrees, matters of controversy. But encouragingly, there is no question of the general direction of change recommended - that of industrialising the poorer countries.

Source: The Seventh Special Session of the General assembly 1st to 12th September 1975. Issues and background, New York, United Nations, 1975 pp 22-23.

A copy of the declaration was supplied from "A new international economic order"; selected documents 1945-1975 volume 2. N.Y., UNITAR, 1977 pp 631-650

LIMA DECLARATION AND PLAN OF ACTION ON INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AND CO-OPERATION, 1975. - Selected extracts from the lengthy Lima Declaration (pp 631-650)
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE. - Australia's "real" position on the Lima Declaration
HISTORIC HOUSE HANSARD - Barry Jones responds in Parliament to questions on the Lima Declaration in March 1986

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