Fifty years ago | Newsprint shortage: Appeal to UNESCO

Published - June 12, 2024 05:31 am IST

New Delhi, June 11: The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr. I.K. Gujral, has called upon UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) to promote an international initiative to relieve the acute shortage of newsprint in Asia.

In a letter addressed to Mr. Rene Maheu, Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Gujral cited the fruitless efforts of India and other developing nations to obtain adequate paper supplies. The letter was made available here by the UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Asia.

Mr. Gujral said: “The only hope, therefore, lies in UNESCO promoting an initiative at the international level which would persuade the advanced countries to a fairer distribution of newsprint between the developed and developing countries.”

Mr. Gujral said that the world-wide newsprint shortage was due to a spurt in demand in North America and Western Europe at the same time as the principal suppliers, Canada and Scandinavia have increased production only marginally. So supplies that normally flow to Asian countries have been diverted to the U.S. and Western Europe.

Pointing out that while North America consumes about 12 million tons of newsprint and Western Europe about 6 million tons annually, all of Asia requires only 55,60,000 tons per year. He declared: “We are not asking the advanced countries to make a major sacrifice. Just a little self-denial on their part would enable us to meet our needs from world markets.”

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