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close this bookScience and Technology in the Transformation of the World (UNU, 1982, 496 p.)
close this folderSession IV: The control of space and power
close this folderScience, technology, and politics in a changing world
close this folderJosť A. Silva Michelena
View the documentI. What kind of transformation?
View the documentII. The nature of the crisis
View the documentIII. World political trends
View the documentIV. The role of science and technology
View the documentV. A proposition
View the documentNotes

V. A proposition

The great question is, then, what shall the underdeveloped countries do to change these trends?

We wish to end this paper on a rather optimistic although utopian note. We are convinced that, in so far as the problems of science and technology continue to be negotiated only at inter-state forums, such as TCDC, UNCTAD, UNCSTED, the North-South dialogue, UNIDO, etc., we can only expect infinitesimal progress or no progress at all.

Many reasons can be argued in favour of such a conclusion, but one that seems to us to be critical is that perhaps the most important protagonist is being left out of the negotiations. We are speaking of the transnational corporations.

It seems to us that the time is ripe either to create a specific organization or for an existing organization such as the Group of 77 or the Non-Aligned Movement to make its priority objective to deal, in a global way, directly with the transnational corporations. Then and only then can a more substantive context be given to common efforts to increase the capacity to negotiate, to create an information bank, to foster managerial capabilities, to create multinationals of the underdeveloped countries, etc. One reason why we think such an operation may work is that transnational corporations, as in the case of OPEC, may also derive benefits from it. Among others, uncertainty could be reduced and therefore they could plan future ventures and profits in a more reliable way.