Evidence of the importance attached to the issues of international development and co-operation is the fact that the Swedish Government has recently appointed a high-level parliamentary commission and asked it to survey the new problems and demands for new priorities arising out of the painful developments here touched upon and to propose new policies for the future. The commission’s terms of reference are very general and should enable it to move freely over the whole range of problems in the aid field today.
Some of the questions of special interest to the developing countries, and which it is hoped that the commission will deal with, are the following. Does aid create increased dependence and, if so, what are the best ways of countering this tendency? How can the international development efforts be harmonised with protectionist trade policies, for instance, in regard to processed foods, textiles and other products? How can one reconcile commitment in principle to untied aid with the increasingly insistent demand for employment-creating tying? How can one harmonise the sectoral priorities of donor parliaments with the priorities fixed by the governments of the developing countries? Does the failure to implement the Jackson Report mean that multilateral assistance is doomed to be inefficient? and finally – to take just one more question – should the present aid targets be regarded as permanent or should the aid programmes continue to grow further?
Several of these questions are raised in this issue of Development Dialogue, for instance, in Mr Mensah’s talk on debt and development, in Professor Philip’s article on Africa and the EEC, and in the exchange of views on Swedish commodity aid.