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The Assembly adopted the resolution “Towards a New International Economic Order” by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 50 against with 1 abstention (Türkiye). By its terms, the Assembly expressed concern over the increasing debt vulnerabilities of developing countries, the net negative capital flows from those countries, the fluctuation of exchange rates and the tightening of global financial conditions, and in this regard stressed the need to explore the means and instruments needed to achieve debt sustainability and the measures necessary to reduce the indebtedness of developing States.

https://press.un.org/en/2022/ga12482.doc.htm

Why did most Western countries vote against the UN proposed resolution “Towards a New International Economic Order”? What do they have to gain or lose by voting for such a resolution that seems to be very reasonable? In fact, I don't see why they would vote against it since the majority of countries stand to benefit from it and therefore will get the majority anyway?

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    The term alone "new economic order" can sound a bit threatening. Given the content maybe a bit less ambitious title would have worked better. Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 22:50
  • Why do you not Post three or two or at least one of the ideas you don't like in that resolution, rather than assuming that anyone here knows what you mean? Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 1:49
  • 6
    "very reasonable" - in whose opinion??
    – deep64blue
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 15:47

3 Answers 3

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From point 12 onwards, that resolution could be seen as a call for debt relief and financial transfers. That would have to come from the Western industrialized nations, presumably.

  • Many in the West believe that cutting debt without structural reform resolves nothing, and merely allows those countries to borrow fresh money (which gets embezzled or squandered by the local elites).
  • Point 14 about licensing, in particular, could be seen as undermining the international intellectual propery regime.
  1. Reiterates the significance of addressing the constraints on technology transfer to developing countries, including the transfer of sound technology from developed countries to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms;
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    What does point 12 and point 14 say?
    – Sayaman
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 20:00
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    @Sayaman See research.un.org/en/docs/ga/quick/regular/77: "77/174 Towards a new international economic order A/77/445 DR adopted on 14 December 2022 with a vote (123-50-1) " There, "A/77/445" is a hyperlink that allows one to retrieve the document from the UN document database in a number of languages. UN doesn't seem to like deep-linking of their documents.
    – njuffa
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 3:55
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    @Sayaman, you asked about the resolution and did not read it?
    – o.m.
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 6:30
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    @o.m. You should probably that question to be for the benefit of other readers, a request to make your answer more complete.
    – Barmar
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 14:35
  • Instead of "international intellectual propery regime" consider matching the words used in the resolution, and call it "international intellectual propery order".
    – user2578
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 18:46
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It looks like when the resolution was voted on in the General Assembly no statements in explanation of vote were made. However, statements in explanation of vote were made when the draft resolution was considered in committee. Both the United States and Czechia (on behalf of the European Union) gave speeches, which may be viewed on the UN website here (starting at about 1:10:00).

A summary of these explanatory speeches are contained in the press report of the 22nd meeting of the second committee:

The representative of the United States, speaking before the vote, said that his country will vote against this resolution, urging others to do the same. The United States had numerous concerns with the text, including language seeking to prescribe action for institutions independent from the United Nations, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Further, it contains a problematic reference to unilateral trade measures, along with calls for technology transfer that is not both on a voluntary basis and on mutually agreed terms.

The representative [of] the Czech Republic, speaking on behalf of the European Union, noted the bloc voted against the resolution in its current form. The Union participated in negotiations [in] good faith but given two divergent positions, consensus was impossible to reach. Citing previous resolutions from 1974 [that] do not address the multiple challenges of today’s globalized world, [she suggested that using] concepts from the 1970s possibly [sends] a message of the United Nations' inability to solve contemporary problems. She noted the call to increase the concessional funding and allocation of special drawing rights should be limited to Member States to live up to their official development assistance (ODA) commitments.

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    Oof, the Czech paragraph is rough on the grammar. I think it's supposed to be: "The representative [of] the Czech Republic ... negotiations [in] good faith ... Citing previous resolutions from 1974 [that] do not address the multiple challenges of today’s globalized world, [she suggested that using] concepts from the 1970s possibly [sends] a message of the United Nations['] inability to solve contemporary problems."
    – wjandrea
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 20:25
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    @wjandrea Yeah it's not very clear is it... added your suggestions
    – CDJB
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 20:29
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I doubt the 50 countries that voted against this, some of which had seats on the UN Security Council, would have viewed several of the points as "reasonable". One of the key reasons for the existence of the Security Council is that the member nations get veto power. Several of the permanent members of the Security Council would not be members of the UN if that Security Council override ability did not exist.

The "Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order" was one of many UN votes for show, resolutions that would be easily passed by a majority of nations, but would nonetheless be doomed to failure by an inevitable Security Council override. The permanent members of the Security Council let those "votes for show" go forward with the knowledge that such resolutions will be made moot by a Security Council veto.

What do they have to gain or lose by voting for such a resolution that seems to be very reasonable?

They weren't reasonable, at least not to the 50 nations that voted against it. That resolution would have required the wealthiest nations in the world to surrender the vast, vast majority of their wealth to non-wealthy nations.

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    I don't see that in the resolution. In fact, my understanding is that these perennial resolutions are based on the philosophy of "trade, not aid," so presumably something like what you mentioned would be against what they aim for. The most controversial points that I see in the resolution probably concern the provision of special drawing rights and technology sharing, neither of which can be interpreted as "surrendering the vast majority" of anyone's wealth.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 2:56
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    @Obie2.0 I read the wrong version of the resolution. Apparently the "Towards a New International Economic Order" resolutions date back to the 1970s (if not earlier). The same group of about 50 advanced countries have voted against it from day one. The earlier versions were extremely anti advanced nations. Since this resolution keeps coming up in various forms year after year, the "no" votes are pretty much set in concrete. Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 14:16
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    Isn't this completely wrong? Permanent members of the Security council have a veto on votes in the Security Council. That council doesn't vote on General Assembly resolutions.
    – JollyJoker
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 20:11
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    @JollyJoker: Yes, this answer is wrong to cite the Security Council veto. The real problem is not the veto, but the fact that General Assembly resolutions are inherently toothless in the first place, unlike Security Council resolutions (which at least theoretically can be enforced to some extent).
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 22:31
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    @Kevin: if 150 countries were able to pronounce an effective resolution to take the other 50 countries' money, that wouldn't bode too well for world peace. Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 15:41

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