Myth versus Reality in "North-South" Negotiations
Ever since the 1973 Arab oil embargo, three myths have dominated multilateral negotiations between the industrialized nations and the developing countries of the so-called "Third World". They include: less-developed countries' (LDCs') development prospects have been seriously hurt by the global economic disorders since 1973; the LDCs have a clear view of the relief they want: a "New International Economic Order" (NIEO); and the LDCs, acting through their negotiating bloc—the Group of 77 (G-77) —constitute a cohesive force that makes them influential in international affairs. These myths have had enormous significance for multilateral diplomacy. This chapter explores how did these myths arise? What accounts for their currency today? What is the reality? It would be erroneous to conclude from the foregoing discussion that to do nothing about the demands of the developing countries for an NIEO is the wisest course. The specific causes of conflict are difficult to anticipate and the consequences for US interests are, therefore, harder to forecast.