This second volume from the United Nations Intellectual History Project surveys the history of the UN’s regional commissions and the ideas they have developed over the last 40 years. Each essay is devoted to one of the five regional commissions—Europe, Asia and the Far East, Latin America, Africa, and Western Asia—and how it has approached its mission of assessing the condition of regional economies and making prognoses about future conditions. The essays describe how each commission has added local perspectives to global debates over economic development and brought an authentic regional voice to the UN.
Contributors are Adebayo Adedeji, Yves Berthelot, Leelananda de Silva, Blandine Destremau, Paul Rayment, and Gert Rosenthal.
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Table of Contents
List of Boxes, Tables, and Figures
Foreword by Louis Emmerij, Richard Jolly, and Thomas G. Weiss
List of Abbreviations
1.Unity and Diversity of Development: The Regional Commissions' Experience, Yves Berthelot
2. ECE: A Bridge Between East and West, Yves Berthelot and Paul Rayment
3. From ECAFE to ESCAP: Pioneering a Regional Perspective, Leelananda de Silva
4. ECLAC: A Commitment to a Latin American Way towards Development, Gert Rosenthal
5. ECA: Forging a Future for Africa, Adebayo Adedeji
6. ESCWA: Striving for Regional Integration, Blandine Destremau
About the Authors
About the UN Intellectual History Project
Adebayo Adedeji is founder and executive director of the African Centre for Development and Strategic Studies (ACDESS) which was established in 1991 after his retirement from United Nations service. From 1975 to 1991 he was an Under-Secretary-General of the organization and the Executive Secretary of its regional commission for Africa. Between 1971 and 1975 he served as a cabinet minister in Nigeria in charge of economic development and reconstruction after the country's 30-month long civil war, 1967-1970. Educated at Ibadan, Harvard and London Universities, he became a full professor at the age of 36 years. He is a recipient of seven honorary doctorate degrees from African and non-African universities and of eight national honors from African governments. He has written and published extensively and his works and intellectual contributions have been widely reviewed in learned journals and have become the focus of books such as S.K.B Asante's African Development: Adebayo Adedeji's Alternative Strategies (1991).
Yves Berthelot is Senior Research Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center and at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, UNITAR. He is director of the Geneva Office of the United Nations Intellectual History Project and President of the Comité Français de Solidarité Internationale. Until 2000 he was the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe. Before this, he was Deputy Secretary General of UNCTAD and Head of Research at the OECD Development Centre. As director of the Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales, a French think tank on global economics, he supervised the preparation of two books: La Montée des Tensions (Economica, 1983) and Economie mondiale: 1980-1990. La Fracture? (Economica, 1985). He is co-author, with Jacques Debandt, of Le Défi économique du Tiers-Monde (La Documentation Francaise, 1982) and, with Giulio Fossi, of Pour une nouvelle coopération (Seuil 1976).
Blandine Destremau holds a Bachelor of Arabic and a Ph.D. in Economics from Georgetown University. She is presently working as a permanent researcher for the French Center for Scientific Research. She has dedicated her work to Middle Eastern issues, mainly Israeli-Palestinian economic relationships, the Yemeni economy, the rentier economic systems and, poverty alleviation. She has published many articles, directed collective works and written two books. Among her main publications are: Mesures et démesure de la pauvreté (PUF, 2002), with Pierre Salama; The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (1974-1999). Twenty-five Years of Service to the Region's Development (ESCWA, 1999), with Serge Nédélec; Femmes du Yémen (Editions Peuples du Monde, 1990); and "Formes et mutations des économies rentières au Moyen-Orient: Egypte, Jordanie, Palestine, Yémen," Tiers Monde XLI, no. 163 (July-September 2000).
Paul Rayment is a graduate of Oxford University where he was a Prize Scholar at Magdalen College. He spent several years doing research at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, London, working with Alfred Maizels on international trade and development problems, before joining the United Nations as a staff member, first with UNCTAD and then the Economic Commission for Europe. From 1994 to 2001 he was Director of the ECE's Economic Analysis Division. He has published in a variety of academic journals including the Oxford Bulletin, The Economic Record, and the Cambridge Journal of Economics, and contributed to a number of collective works particularly in the area of international trade. Most of his writing, however, has been for ECE where, inter alia, he wrote all the opening chapters to the Economic Surveys and Bulletins between 1990 and 2001. He retired from the UN in 2001.
Gert Rosenthal is a Guatemalan economist. He received his undergraduate and graduate training in economics at the University of California, at Berkeley. He served in various posts in the Guatemalan Government between 1960 and 1974, as well as in the Secretariat of the Central American Common Market. He also taught development economics at the Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala. He joined the Economic Commission for Latin America in 1974 as Director of the Mexico City Office. He was promoted Deputy Executive Secretary in 1986 and was the Executive Secretary between 1988 and 1997. He is presently the Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United Nations.
Leelananda De Silva was a member of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service, working at the district level and for the central government. From 1970-1977, with the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs he was involved with international economic relations with the UN (the World Food Conference of 1974, international commodity negotiations, UNGA special sessions), the Non-Aligned Summits, the Group of 77 and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings. He was Secretary of the Economic Committee of the Non-Aligned Summit in Colombo in 1976. He was also the Secretary-General of the last annual sessions of ECAFE held in Colombo in 1974. Since 1978, he has worked as a consultant and senior advisor to over 10 UN agencies and with the International Foundation for Development Alternatives in Nyon, Switzerland, the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva and the International Council for Voluntary Agencies, Geneva. He has worked on UN assignments in over 30 countries in Africa and Asia and has written extensively on development issues.