North–South Summit

North–South Summit
International Meeting on Cooperation and Development

Participants at the Cancun Sheraton Hotel Beach.
Host country Mexico
Date 22–23 October 1981
Cities Cancun
Participants 22 countries
Chair Mexico José López Portillo

The North–South Summit, officially the International Meeting on Cooperation and Development,[1] was an international summit held in Cancun, Mexico from 22 to 23 October 1981. The summit was attended by representatives of 22 countries from 5 continents. It is the only north-south summit conference in history.[2]


The summit was attended by 22 countries from 5 continents. The Soviet Union chose not to attend the summit. Cuba was excluded at the request of the United States.[3]

Country Representative Title
 United Nations Kurt Waldheim Secretary-General
 Algeria Chadli Bendjedid President
 Austria Willibald Pahr Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Bangladesh Abdus Sattar President
 Brazil Ramiro Saraiva Guerreiro Minister of External Relations
 Canada Pierre Trudeau Prime Minister
 China Zhao Ziyang Premier
 France François Mitterrand President
 Guyana Forbes Burnham President
 India Indira Gandhi Prime Minister
 Ivory Coast Simeon Aké Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Japan Zenko Suzuki Prime Minister
 Mexico José López Portillo President
 Nigeria Shehu Shagari President
 Philippines Ferdinand Marcos President
 Saudi Arabia Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Crown Prince
 Sweden Thorbjörn Fälldin Prime Minister
 Tanzania Julius Nyerere President
 United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher Prime Minister
 United States Ronald Reagan President
 Venezuela Luis Herrera Campins President
 West Germany Hans-Dietrich Genscher Minister for Foreign Affairs
 Yugoslavia Sergej Kraigher President


The conference was chaired by Mexican President José López Portillo.[4]

French President François Mitterrand attended the summit on one of his first official trips abroad.[5] He spoke about the need to change the terms of trade between industrialized countries and developing countries, and affirmed the will of France to actively contribute to the development of the Third World.[6][7][8] Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang called for the establishment of a new international economic order.[9]

In popular culture

The conference is one of the elements of the 1984 French film The Vengeance of the Winged Serpent.

It is also the subject of story arc Nuclear Alert of the Franco-Belgian comic book series Buck Danny, published in 1983, 1984 and 1986.

See also


  1. Mourlon-Druol, Emmanuel; Romero, Federico (5 Mar 2014). International Summitry and Global Governance: The Rise of the G7 and the European Council, 1974-1991. Routledge. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  2. Ronald E. Muller and Arthur L. Domike (October 18, 1981). "CANCUN'S MEANING". WASHINGTON: The New York Times. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  4. Guide de voyage Ulysse, Cancun et la Riviera Maya, 3 janvier 2013, 283 pages.
  5. Discours de Jean-Louis Debré, président de l'Assemblée nationale, lors de la réception de Vicente Fox, président du Mexique, 14 novembre 2002.
  6. Document de travail remis par M. François Mitterrand, Président de la République, à l'ouverture de la conférence Nord-Sud de Cancun au Mexique, jeudi 22 octobre 1981,
  7. Chronologie de la notice Pays en développement (PED),, consulté le 5 août 2013.
  8. Chronologie de la politique de coopération pour le développement (1958-2007),, mis à jour le 3 septembre 2007.
  9. Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Chine : chronologie orientée, Politique étrangère, volume 48, numéro 1, p. 106, 1983.
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