A very wide gap exists between the people of the developed countries and the people of the developing or under-developed countries. The former with less than 30 per cent of the world’s population control more than 70 per cent of world’s wealth and income while the latter with more than 70 per cent of the population live with less than 30 per cent of the resources and income. The per capita income of two-dozen industrialized countries is between $ 3000 to $ 6000 whereas that of hundred or more under-developed countries is about $ 100.
The gap that exists between the developed and under-developed is further increasing at an alarming rate. The developed and rich nations are becoming richer and the under-developed and the poor nations are becoming poorer particularly after 1970.By virtue of being technologically advanced and industrially developed the rich are strengthening their control over international trade. UNCTAD and GATT have failed to prevent the continuously increasing gap between the rich and poor. The record of UNCTAD clearly shows that the efforts of the developing countries to attain self-sustained growth have not received adequate support.
The pattern of international trade still favors the developed countries. Despite bilateral and multilateral aid programmes, the gap between the developed and the developing countries is growing. The energy crisis, the falling exports, the stiff competition in world markets, the monopolistic role of the MNCs. The inadequacy of the Bretton Woods System in contemporary times, the inadequate and limited economic and technological aid to the developing countries etc, have combined to make the poor live with poverty. Combinations of the persistent monetary crisis have bought to the fore the arrays of grave economic and social problems for the Third World are too grim to be ignored. The gap between the per capita incomes of the rich nations and the poor nations is widening.
The transfer of resources to the developing countries is continually declining while their external debt has increased by six times. The increase in the oil import bill of the developing countries has further limited their economic conditions, thus the ever widening gap between the developed countries and the Least Developed Countries (LCDs) is a stark reality of contemporary international relations. The latest report of UN Human Development Report records that out of a total population of 6.6 billion, 4. 4 billion people live in the developing countries. The 3/5 part of the population living in developing countries is such as does not enjoy good sanitary and health facilities and a third of the population even does not have pure drinking water facilities. The world consumes goods worth 24 billion and out of this the share of the developing nations is just minimum.