• Short Summary

    The Vice-Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos, Mr. Phagna Phoumi Vongvichit, and the?

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    GV INTERIOR Delegates at U.N. (5 shots)

    MV Laotion representative

    MV Delegates seated (3 shots)

    GV & MV Filipino delegate speaks

    MR. ROMULO: "Like most developing countries, the Philippines has been affected by the sharp increases in import prices, raising the probability of a deficit in our balance of payments position. Inflation, though among the most moderate in Southeast Asia, has prevented further improvement in living standards without however causing a real decline. Despite the expected difficulties, however, the gross national product amounted to 5.8 per cent in the first eight months of 1974, a figure which, with the exception of 1973 is higher than in previous years. Last year, the Philippines was in the upper third in tho roll of developing countries which exceeded the target growth rate set by the international development strategy in the field of manufactures. As a result of measures taken to prevent massive rice shortages due to typhoons, the Philippines increases its grain production by 12 per cent, short of self sufficiency but enough to avert widespread shortages in the event of expected natural calamities."

    Initials BB/0111 NC/PN/BB/0130

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The Vice-Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos, Mr. Phagna Phoumi Vongvichit, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, Mr. Carlo P. Romulo addressed the Plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday (25 September).

    Both men expressed their concern about inequalities between smaller, poorer countries and the larger, richer ones.

    Mr. Romulo said he favoured the establishment of a world food reserve in order to ensure assistance to countries suffering form food shortages regardless of the among of surplus among donor countries.

    Mr. Vogvichit also spoke on the problems of smaller countries and pointed to his own nation as setting an example of peace, independence and real neutrality in what was a few months ago a deeply divided war-torn country.

    Below is a transcript of Mr. Romulo's speech.

    SYNOPSIS: At Wednesday's session of the United Nations General Assembly representatives from two small Southeast Asian countries addressed the delegates. Both talked of the problems of small, developing countries. The Vice Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos, Mr Phagna Phoumi Vongvichit spoke first.

    Mr. Vongvichit said the Laotian National Union Government respected the Paris Agreement on Vietnam and supported the struggle of the Vietnamese people in their attempts to have it implemented. He said his Government sought the end of military intervention and interference of imperialists and the solution of the political problem of South Vietnam through reconciliation and understanding between the two Governments of the country.

    Mr. Vongvichit also said his Government fully supports the struggle of the Khmer people which would result in an independent, peaceful, neutral, sovereign, democratic and prosperous Cambodia. Later, Mr. Vongvichit sid the interim Government in Laos was following a policy of strict neutrality and welcomed all countries, whatever their political systems, which wished to aid the reconstruction of a war-devastated Laos.

    The Filipino Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carlos P. Romulo, also talked about developing countries, his main concern being food.

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