Primary Source

"The Problems of Third World Development"


The text is an excerpt from the 1974 Houari Boumédiène’s speech to the 6th Special Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. In the speech, the Algerian leader noted that one of the main global problems is uneven development across all countries rich and poor. Boumédiène thus proposed a new global economic order that would redistribute global wealth and solve developmental problems in the Global South.

This source is part of the Nonaligned Movement and Cold War Détente teaching module.


While man inaugurated the present decade by conquering space, demonstrating by this prestigious achievement that his scientific and technological capacity is on par with the most difficult problems posed by nature, his failure in the face of the dramatic problems of deprivation and poverty that best the world remains total. 

Posed a quarter of a century ago by the community of nations as one of the major world priorities, the problem of development has today become the absolute priority which we all must face, and without further delay, if we wish to Avery the tragic possibility that this problem might one day become a source of uncontrollable conflagration. 

Any real political determination to launch a frontal attack on the problem of development should in the first place recognize the allocation of world resources as a central issue. 

In other words any approach to a concrete, definite solution to the problem implies, as a prerequisite, that an appropriate stand be taken regarding the recognition of human priorities. This should in the end lead to a profound reorganization of economic relations between rich and poor countries, tending toward a distribution of the benefits of growth and progress -- a distribution which, in order to be equitable, must be in accord with the needs, priorities and legitimate interests of the parties concerned.



Houari Boumédiène, “The Problems of Third World Development,” in The Black Scholar Vol. 6, No. 8 (May 1975), pp. 2-10

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""The Problems of Third World Development"," in World History Commons, [accessed September 30, 2022]