31.08.2023 Author: Veniamin Popov

The gap between the Western world and the countries of the Global South is getting wider

 the Western world

Tensions are rising in the world. Mostly as a result of Western powers’ provocation of fresh conflicts and the rekindling of old ones in order to retain their control.  Their aim is clear: to continue profiting from human suffering, to scare people, to subjugate countries as vassals within the neocolonial system, and to ruthlessly plunder their resources.

Developing nations are strenuously starting to defend their national interests because they no longer wish to accept their oppressed position.

Some well-known Western economists believe that extreme inequality is the primary issue facing modern civilization. A leading expert on the subject, Branko Milanović, reported in the July-August 2023 edition of the Foreign Affairs magazine, “Across the globe, but especially in the wealthy economies of the West, the gap between the rich and the rest has widened year after year and become a chasm, spreading anxiety, stoking resentment, and roiling politics.”

In mid-July this year, the new head of the World Bank, speaking at the G20 finance ministers’ meeting in India, warned that the growing gap between rich and poor countries could lead to worsening poverty in developing countries: “The Global South’s frustration is understandable. In many ways they are paying the price for our prosperity.”

More than 3.1 billion people, or 42% of the world’s population, were estimated to be unable to afford a healthy diet in 2021, up 134 million from 2019. In 2022, 2.4 billion people were estimated to lack reliable access to food, 783 million people experienced hunger, and 148 million children had stunted growth.

While this is going on, Western nations continue to have a condescending attitude toward those who live in developing nations. They seek at all costs to keep things unfair by using their hegemonic positions in global banking. According to the United Nations, Africa loses almost $90 billion annually due to unlawful financial flows, primarily as a result of erroneous price transactions within multinational corporations, or 3.7% of its gross domestic product. Large-scale media efforts are being run in the meantime to persuade African nations, for instance, “Africans and Americans alike must face the reality that there are no Africa-only solutions to the layered crises afflicting the Sahel,” or in other words, they need the cooperation of the West. An article in the New York Times on August 14 of this year makes this clear.

Developing nations are vehemently rejecting the dominance of the West and its unjustified meddling in the internal affairs of other governments. Pakistan is passing through a deep crisis of domestic politics due to the fact that Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Moscow in February 2022 and met with President Putin. As a result the US had effectively given Islamabad an ultimatum, demanding that Imran Khan be removed from office by 2022. Under Washington’s pressure, he was not just fired, but also arrested so that he could not run in the new parliamentary elections. Given Imran Khan’s reputation in the nation, the US’s apparent blackmail and coercion won’t help their credibility in this largest Muslim nation at the moment, which has more than 200 million citizens.

The issue surrounding the events in Niger, a West African nation with a population of 26 million, is currently getting worse. Even those Africans who want to restore the powers of the ousted president have criticized the American move to openly pressure the new authorities of this African state by sending US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland there promptly.

It is interesting to note that the harsh anti-Russian campaign of the Western powers has not only not been supported by developing nations but also has the opposite effect: a growing number of developing nations are attempting to join the BRICS association, whose summit begins on August 22 in South Africa and at which 23 states have already formally announced their attendance.

The Russia-Africa Summit held in St. Petersburg in July 2023 and attended by 49 African nations is additional evidence that the global power structure is shifting.

It is worth noting that developing countries are beginning to vigorously defend their interests.

Former British colonies in the Caribbean, including Barbados, Jamaica, and others, have called for colonial powers to give reparations to these peoples on August 1, 2023, which would mark the 200-year anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. At least 12.5 million people were ruthlessly kidnapped from Africa between the 15th and the 19th centuries and used as slave labor.

India is adamant about pressing for compensation from Britain for 150 years of colonial oppression, exploitation, and plunder this year.

It is important to note that Indian authorities are working to replace the Penal Code and other legislation from the colonial era.

Even Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, acknowledged that “the Western conviction about the war and its importance is matched elsewhere by skepticism at best and outright disdain at worst,” which is the result of a great deal of frustration, if not outright anger, over the West’s poor handling of globalization since the end of the Cold War.

Studying in America was once seen as a tremendous benefit by young Saudis, but this has changed in recent years due to declining morals, cultural values, and threats to personal safety. More than 100,000 Saudis have attended colleges and universities in the US, but the number of Saudi students going there is steadily decreasing. The Emirati newspaper Gulf News reported in April this year, “Parents and grandparents of college students point to what they see as a disturbing decline in social mores, lawlessness and threats to personal safety, and a gradual deterioration in cultural values and ethics.”

On August 8 of this year, The New York Times reported that an increasing number of nations disagree with US foreign policy. Anwar Gargash, a senior diplomatic advisor to the United Arab Emirates president, was quoted as saying that “Western hegemony is experiencing its last days.”

The West’s efforts to impose a purported rule-based order and teach “non-traditional values” in the minds of the populace are viewed as abhorrent in many countries of the Global South. Due to Uganda’s anti-gay legislation, the World Bank recently declared that it had halted loans to that country. The bank stated that Uganda’s anti-LGBT bill “fundamentally contradicts the values of the World Bank Group.” This kind of blatant coercion causes legitimate outrage.

The American movie Barbie has been sharply criticized in several Arab countries for promoting nontraditional orientation. The State of Kuwait declared that it banned the Barbie movie in order to uphold “public ethics and social traditions.” Lebanese Minister of Culture has asked the Ministry of Interior to take all necessary measures to prevent the movie from being shown in their country.

The Algerian authorities banned the screening of the said movie “for propaganda of Western deviations.”

All Muslim countries strongly condemned the actions of the authorities of Sweden and Denmark, who allowed the burning of Holy Qur’an. This kind of action will clearly do nothing to enhance the respect of Western powers in the countries of the Global South.

A multipolar world is gradually emerging, and this trend has accelerated following the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. The majority of nations are prepared to protect their national interests, traditions, culture, and way of life. New economic and political centers are emerging. The most obvious example of this trend is the rising interest among nations from all parts of the world in joining organizations such as BRICS and the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization).


Veniamin Popov, Director of the “Center for Partnership of Civilizations” in MGIMO (U) MFA of Russia, Candidate of Historical Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

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