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NORTH-SOUTH
DIVIDE



The divide between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of our planet is widening.
The rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.

According to the President of the European Commission in 2001, rich nations are "going in the wrong direction" and will face inevitable conflict with the South if major efforts are not made now to increase foreign aid and forgive the massive debt that currently strangles the majority of poor nations and peoples in the Southern hemisphere.

The industrialized, consumption-based nations of the North (the USA, Europe, Japan etc..) are quite simply, eating the planet alive, consuming 50% of all meat and fish, 70% of all electricity, 85% of all paper, owning and producing nearly 90% of all cars and emitting roughly 70% of all greenhouse gases.

The South on the other hand (whose masses largely occupy the continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America) are barely scratching the surface in terms of consumption of resources as compared to the North. Rather, the South is proliferating the Earth with its sheer numbers of people. The two most populous nations on the planet- China and India- already comprise more than a billion people apiece. These levels of overpopulation, coupled with the South's crippling poverty (1.3 billion people in the world today struggle to survive on $US 1 dollar/day, 3 billion- 1/2 the world's population- struggle to survive on $US 2 dollars/day) have forced many Third World nations into accepting International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and World Trade Organization (WTO) structural programs and guidelines designed by the rich nations of the North to exploit their cheap labor and abundant resources for their own benefit.

The upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa this year (2002) will undoubtedly represent a forum for which our planet's North-South conflict will be heard and made readily apparent. In the arena of international political economics, the divide is between the heavily industrialized/information rich G-7 nations of the North and the struggling less-developed/poverty stricken G-77 nations of the South.

Since the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil in 1992, unrestrained, highly exploitative economic development has been the guiding paradigm of the global elite throughout the 1990's rather than the principles of democracy, equality and ecological stewardship as laid down in the "Rio Declaration". At the level of realpolitik, the North has clearly blown the deal by recklessly building the machinery for an unsustainable, greed-driven and environmentally destructive one-world market economy that has, for all intents and purposes, become the real Agenda 21 of the Rio Earth Summit- the exact opposite of the original blueprint.

As we enter the 21st century, the International Elite have now made the absolutely FATAL mistake- along with vested commercial and corporate interests throughout the North- to consolidate the world's wealth, pour billions into the military to defend themselves against the angry, desperate and destitute masses of the South {yes, they will use nuclear weapons to defend their wealth, power and priviledge} and forego the systems of wealth distribution, debt foregiveness, sustainable development, population control, alternative energy, environmental restoration and institutional reform that would allow humankind to narrow and eventually eliminate the gap that now exists between the world's rich and poor- bringing true security, peace, prosperity and equality to all...

Instead, we have a world system that has been purposely engineered for chaos, war and needless mass suffering that is sure to surpass the 20th century -the bloodiest in human history- in sheer madness, inequality, destitution, destruction and death- a path that should NEVER have been taken, and a decision the International Elite will NOT live to regret.


Steve Jones
P.O. Box 1141
Boulder, Colorado
80306
USA

E-Mail: illiyin7@yahoo.com



SOURCES:

1. Third World Network
288 Macalister Rd- 10400, Penang, Malaysia
Website: http://www.twnside.org.sg
Third World Resurgence Magazine: http://www.twnside.org.sg/twr.htm

2. Cultural Survival Quarterly
215 Prospect St, Cambridge, Massachussetts 02139 USA
Website: http://www.culturalsurvival.org

3. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
One UN Plaza, DC-1, 20th Floor, New York, New York 10017 USA
Website: http://www.undp.org

4. Rich vs. Poor Stats
Website: http://www.geocities.com/earthbase4/richpoor.html

5. Jubilee USA Network
222 E. Capitol St- NE, Washington, DC 20003 USA
Website: http://www.jubileeusa.org

6. Oxfam International
266 Banbury Rd- Suite 20, Oxford, United Kingdom OX2 7DL, European Union
Website: http://www.oxfaminternational.org

7. International Herald Tribune
6 bis, rue des Graviers, 92521, Neuilly Cedex, France, European Union
Website: http://www.iht.com

8. South-North Development Monitor
Palais des Nations- Rm C-504, 1211 Geneva-10, Switzerland
Website: http://www.sunsonline.org

9. Focus on the Global South
c/o CUSRI, Wisit Prachuabmoh Building, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok-10300, Thailand
Website: http://www.focusweb.org

10. Global Watch
c/o ZNet, 18 Millfield St, Woods Hole, Massachussetts 02543 USA
Website: http://www.zmag.org/GlobalWatch

11. Heinrich Boll Foundation
Heinrich-Boll-Stiftung, Rosenthaler Str 40/41, 10178, Berlin, Germany, European Union
Website: http://www.boell.de

12. Earth Summit 2002/Johanesburg, South Africa
Website: http://www.geocities.com/earthbase4/earth.html