North–South Summit

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]

North–South Summit
International Meeting on Cooperation and Development
Heads of State Cancun Summit 1981.jpg
Participants at the Cancun Sheraton Hotel Beach.
Host countryMexico
Date22–23 October 1981
Venue(s)Cancun Sheraton Hotel
Participants22 countries
ChairMexico José López Portillo


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


No official agenda was set for the meeting.[4]

The conference was chaired by Mexican President José López Portillo.[5]

French President François Mitterrand attended the summit on one of his first official trips abroad.[6] 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.[7][8][9] Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang called for the establishment of a new international economic order.[10]

In popular cultureEdit

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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mourlon-Druol, Emmanuel; Romero, Federico (5 March 2014). International Summitry and Global Governance: The Rise of the G7 and the European Council, 1974–1991. Routledge. ISBN 9781317913702. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  2. ^ Ronald E. Muller and Arthur L. Domike (18 October 1981). "CANCUN'S MEANING". The New York Times. WASHINGTON. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Times, Alan Riding, Special To The New York (18 October 1981). "MEXICANS GO ALL OUT FOR TALKS IN CANCUN". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  5. ^ Guide de voyage Ulysse, Cancun et la Riviera Maya, 3 janvier 2013, 283 pages.
  6. ^ Discours de Jean-Louis Debré, président de l'Assemblée nationale, lors de la réception de Vicente Fox, président du Mexique, 14 novembre 2002.
  7. ^ 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,
  8. ^ Chronologie de la notice Pays en développement (PED),, consulté le 5 août 2013.
  9. ^ Chronologie de la politique de coopération pour le développement (1958–2007),, mis à jour le 3 septembre 2007.
  10. ^ Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Chine : chronologie orientée, Politique étrangère, volume 48, numéro 1, p. 106, 1983.