The Foreign Office and Preparing for the First United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964 as a forum to negotiate and regulate international trade policy. From the perspective of the British Government, the question of holding a conference was not initially attractive. There were a number of reasons for this, as the following analysis makes clear, but the Foreign Office came around to supporting the idea in part because there was a significant measure of international support for the conference and also because it was more important to try to influence the outcome of any agreements made at the Conference rather than be in semi-isolation as a grudging opponent outside it. In preparing for the first UNCTAD, the Foreign Office, with the Board of Trade, took the major role in policy formation and it became clear that the Foreign Office was intent upon taking the initiative seriously.
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