INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
The North-South Divide is the socio-economic and political division that exists between the wealthy developed countries, known collectively as "the North", and the poorer developing countries (least developed countries), or "the South."
LEDCs (Less Economically Developed Countries) – nations with a lower living standard, underdeveloped industrial base, and low Human Development Index (HDI) in comparison with other countries.
The North–South divide is broadly considered a socio-economic and political divide. Generally, definitions of the North include the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, and developed parts of East Asia. The South is made up of Africa, Latin America, and developing Asia. The North is home to four of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and all members of the G8.
The idea of categorizing countries by their economic and developmental status began during the Cold War with the classifications of East and West. The Soviet Union and China represented the developing East, and the United States and their allies represented the more developed West. Although most nations comprising the "North" are in fact located in the Northern Hemisphere, the divide is not primarily defined by geography. As nations become economically developed, they may become part of the "North", regardless of geographical location, while any other nations which do not qualify for "developed" status are in effect deemed to be part of the "South."
The inequality in the development levels of North and
South has resulted in a huge migration from South to North. This is the main
direction of all world migration. This has also instigated growth of hatred to
the West countries, popularity of Islam fundamentalism and spread of Islam
Today’s North-South gap traces its roots to the colonization of the Southern world regions by Europe over the past several centuries. This colonization occurred at different times in different parts of the world, as did decolonization. Because of the negative impact of colonialism on local populations, anticolonial movements arose throughout the global South at various times and using various methods. These culminated in a wave of successful independence movements after World War II in Asia and Africa. (Latin American states gained independence much earlier.). Following independence, LEDCs were left with legacies of colonialism, including their basic economic infrastructures that made wealth accumulation difficult in certain ways. These problems still remain in many countries.
Wealth accumulation (including the demographic transition discussed in Chapter 11) depends on the meeting of basic human needs such as access to food, water, education, shelter, and health care. LEDCs have had mixed success in meeting their populations’ basic needs. War has been a major impediment to meeting basic needs, and to wealth accumulation generally in poor countries. Almost all the wars of the past 50 years have been fought in the global South.
PREVIOUS ATTEMPTS TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE
Some economists have argued that international free trade and unhindered capital flows across countries could lead to a contraction in the North–South divide. In this case more equal trade and flow of capital would allow the possibility for developing countries to further develop economically. Policymakers in the South have proposed alternative solutions. In 1974, Southern nations called for a New International Economic Order (NIEO) to restructure the global economy. Their demands included linking prices of commodity exports to manufactured imports, transferring of technology from North to South, canceling or rescheduling debts of the LEDCs, improving representation in economic players—World Bank, UN Security Council, standardizing prices for raw materials, solving food crises, and "opening up of the North’s market for manufactured or semi-processed goods of the South".
There are several ways and methods that can be used to resolve the issue and close the divide between the North and the South. First of all, the stated problem requires tight cooperation between MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries) and LEDCs, because it is impossible for developing countries to cope with the problem without help of the developed countries.
LEDCs are often suffering from brain drain, therefore it is extremely important to invest into new working places in these countries in order to provide citizens, especially young specialists, with appropriate work and evade immigration.
Another vital step is investment into educational system and technological development.