DIPLOMACY: The Rich v. the Poor in Paris

"Not so long ago," said Algeria's Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika, "today's event would have been an attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable." He was referring to the 35-nation Paris Conference on International Economic Cooperation, the long-awaited meeting of rich nations, poor countries and oil-producing' states (TIME, Dec. 22). Its purpose: to find ways to ease the increasingly desperate plight of the world's poorest states. After three days of speeches, private talks and public pronouncements, it was far from certain, despite Bouteflika's positive words, that the irreconcilable could be reconciled and that "the...

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