The Brandt Commission (formally the Independent Commission on International Development Issues) was set up to provide a fresh judgment and perspective on the growing problems of cooperation between rich and poor countries and the so-called North-South conflict. Members of the commission are from all parts of the world and most have held cabinet positions in their countries; several have been prime ministers. The breadth of their experience and the frankness with which they discuss the causes of world economic inequalities make this book particularly valuable: its conclusions represent the findings of practical politicians, bankers, and union leaders who know all to well the obstacles between ideas and their implementation.
North-South describes the current world deadlock: unused factories and mass unemployment in rich countries, and desperate, unmet needs in the poorer countries; it explains how this situation came about and how relationships between rich and poor countries have changed over the last three decades. It then examines the separate factors and problems of the conflict. Among the topics discussed are causes of poverty, malnutrition, and overpopulation in poor countries, fluctuations in commodity prices, migration of labor and brain power, uncertainties of trade, protective tariffs, and the controversial role of transnational corporations. The book makes recommendations in all these fields on the basis of the need for peace and survival, the need for social justice, the need for structural changes in the economic system, the proper use of resources and energy, and the need for international responsibility.
This is the complete report presented by the Commission's Chairman, Willy Brandt, to United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim.
Anthony Sampson, Editorial Advisor