Blow by blow
1944 Bretton Woods, New Hampshire; Allied Powers agree to reorganise post-war world financial system.
1945 World War II ends.
1947 Marshall Plan for European recovery begins. International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank begin operations. India and Pakistan gain independence from Britain.
1949 Fixed exchange rates set between major international currencies to stabilise world trade.
1950-53 Suez Crisis. European Economic Community founded.
1959-61 Cuban revolution establishes communist state under Fidel Castro, 90 miles from US shores.
1960-70 First UN Development Decade.
1962 US sends military advisers to South Vietnam.
1964 Group of 77 developing nations formed to press common interests of Third World. UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 1). Focus on foreign aid; Rich nations adopt 1% GNP target for aid to Third World.
1965 US Marines deployed in Vietnam, first air raids on North Vietnam.
1966 President Johnson announces a $5.6 billion cut in federal programmes due to Vietnam war.
1967 Johnson asks Congress for tax increases to help pay for the Vietnam war.
Britain withdraws armed forces east of Suez Canal, announcing ‘end of the imperial era’. IMF proposes Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) as new form of ‘paper gold’.
1968 UNCTAD 2: Concentrates on trade issues and establishing Generalised System of Preferences for manufactured exports from South.
Speculative gold rush destabilises international currency markets.
Western nations agree to maintain official gold price of $35/oz by not trading in private market.
1969 Agreement reached for issuing SDRs, first internationally managed currency. Further realignment of European currencies as French Franc devalued and German Mark revalued against US dollar.
Pearson Report calls for more Third World aid.
1970-80 Second UN Development Decade.
1971 President Nixon announces US will no longer exchange dollars for gold. Smithsonian Agreement of ten major industrial powers; dollar devalued and its convertibility into gold formally abolished.
1972 UNCTAD 3: Principle of special aid and concessions for poorest. Least Developed Countries accepted.
1973 EEC enlarged with Britain, Denmark and Ireland.
Demand for New International Economic Order (NIEO) by Non-Aligned nations.
Fixed exchange rates between dollar and European currencies abandoned Bretton Woods system in ruins.
Official gold price raised to $42/oz. Central Banks sell gold again on private market.
OPEC increases crude oil price by 450%.
US withdraws from Vietnam. Provisional Revolutionary Government formed two years later.
1974 UN General Assembly places NIEO on agenda for international negotiation.
1975 General Assembly establishes plan of action for negotiation of NIEO.
IMF proposes abolition of official gold price and announces sale of one-sixth gold reserves over next four years
1976 UNCTAD 4: Agreed in principle to establish Common Fund to stabilise commodity prices and guarantee reasonable return to Third World producers.
Jimmy Carter elected US president with new emphasis on global human rights.
1977 Conference for International Economic Co-operation, Paris. North-South dialogue grinds to halt over North’s demand to include OPEC oil price in bargaining.
1979 Third World’s ‘Group of 77’ in Arusha, Tanzania, emphasises need for collective self-reliance through South-South co-operation.
UNCTAD 5 Ends in deadlock, no progress on North-South negotiations.
Non-Aligned nations propose (renewed) North-South dialogue.
Global tariff reductions agreed, with minimal gains for South.
UK elects Margaret Thatcher, rejects post-war ‘Keynesianism’ and introduces hard-line monetarism to fight inflation.
1980 Brandt Report published stressing importance of North-South dialogue and co-operation to jolt world economy out of global crisis.
Ronald Reagan elected on aggressive militaristic, anti-communist platform.
1981 Summit of North-South leaders proposed to review issues raised by Brandt Report. Agenda of Mexico meeting adjusted to US demands.