New Delhi — Almost unnoticed in the crush of negotiations over the world's trouble spots is the broad agreement among nonaligned foreign ministers meeting here on the need for radical restructuring of the world economic order.
Specifically, they are demanding that the developed countries turn some $300 billion over to the third world.
"Selfish" and "recalcitrant" are among the terms used here to describe industrialized nations accused of thwarting long-sought global negotiations toward a new international economic order.
"For most of us, economic prospects have been worsening with each passing month," said Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She warned that big powers were coupling "economic threats and blandishments" with their military might to turn nonaligned countries against each other.
Their basic complaint, an echo of previous calls for a so-called North-South dialogue on international economic reform, is that developing nations get an unfairly small share of the world's economic pie and little voice in the international monetary, economic, and financial institutions that determined its size and shape.
Reviewing developments since the nonaligned summit in Havana 18 months ago, the foreign ministers spoke, in their draft declaration, of "an ominous recession in the very spirit of international cooperation due to the inward- looking approach of the major developed countries."
Shortly after the Havana summit, Cuba, then as now the chairman of the nonaligned movement, called on advanced nations to cancel the debts of the developing countries and set up a global fund of $300 billion in donations and long-term "soft credits" for the third world over a 10- year period.
"None of these just claims have been met, not even partially," Cuban Foreign Minister Isidoro Malmierca complained at the New Delhi meeting.
"The nonaligned countries have requested neither gifts nor alms," Mr. Malmierca declared. He said the "massive and sustained flow of resources of every kind" demanded by the nonaligned on behalf of the developing countries was "none other than the return of the resources drawn from our countries for centuries of colonial and neocolonial exploitation."
In the meantime, said Malaysian Foreign Minister Tengku Rithauddeen Ahmad, "The malaise confronting the majority of the developing countries -- balance of payment difficulties, inflation, deteriorating in terms of trade, protectionism in developed countries, unemployment -- continues to worsen."
Many delegates privately see little real hope for a wholesale turnover of cash, technology, and know-how to third-world countries, many of which are not noted for dramatic moves to correct their own domestic economic inequities. But the idea is to keep up the pressure on the industrialized world.