Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Clark D. Mervis

First Page



In September 1975 the United Nations held a special session, only the seventh in the organization's history, on global economic problems. The issue precipitating the special session was the call for a new international economic order by the world's developing nations. Since the oil crisis of 1973, the United Nations has become the arena for dispute between the world's wealthy nations and its poor nations, and bloc against bloc confrontations are common-place. It is clear that action must be taken soon, not only if we are to distribute more equitably the world's wealth, but also if we are to avert armed confrontation between developed and developing nations. This paper analyzes elements of the global economics and social issues that underlie the conflict and that were discussed at the Seventh Special Session. The scope of debate on a new economic order is vast, as it must be since every nation of the world is affected by it. There are no partial solutions, and short term remedies will only complicate future problems. At the very least, we hope this paper illustrates the magnitude and intricacy of the challenge before us.