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Report of the Meeting of Eminent Persons on Commodity Issues

October 1, 2003

The General Assembly of the United Nations, at its fifty-seventh session, discussed commodity issues under agenda item 84 (b), “Macroeconomic policy questions: commodities”. The General Assembly had before it document A/57/381, entitled “World Commodity Trends and Prospects: Note by the Secretary-General”, which had been prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat.

Following its discussion on this item, the General Assembly adopted resolution 57/236 which, in its paragraph 11: “Calls upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, within existing budgetary resources, supplemented by voluntary contributions as appropriate, to designate independent eminent persons to examine and report on commodity issues, including the volatility in commodity prices and declining terms of trade and the impact these have on the development efforts of commoditydependent developing countries, for consideration by the Trade and Development Board at its executive session and, subsequently, by the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session”. For this activity, the budgetary resources of UNCTAD were supplemented by one voluntary contribution amounting to $10,200, received from the Government of Italy.

The designated eminent persons (listed in the annex) met on 22 and 23 September 2003 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The meeting was opened by the Secretary-General of UNCTAD and chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD and the Director of the Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities. Nine brief background notes were prepared by the secretariat, covering the issues that were expected to be taken up by the eminent persons. These are available to the Trade and Development Board in their original unedited English versions.Based on their discussions, as summarized in part III of this report, the eminent persons agreed upon a set of recommendations which are presented in part II.

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