The article examines the characteristics of international economic negotiations prepared by UNCTAD and makes suggestions to improve multilateral development diplomacy. The particular administrative and bureaucratic context of such discussions has been neglected. Rather than the politics or economics of negotiations, the dynamics of bargaining and of the UNCTAD secretariat are emphasized. The principles of the group system and the solidarity of developing countries were necessary to launch negotiations, but have become counterproductive. Suggestions for changes in the conduct of international economic negotiations are based on selected case studies. Alternatives for multilateral development diplomacy involve flexible coalitions based on interests rather than ideology; a modicum of political good will on the specific issue to be discussed and a willingness to compromise; and proper political and analytical spade-work for policy proposals. © 1985.
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