The average consumer in the rich industrial countries makes use of approximately twice as much agricultural land as the inhabitant of a developing country. One quarter of the world's population living in the rich industrial countries consumes four-fifths of the world's paper and considerably more textiles than in the poor countries.
Mankind has never before had such abundant financial and technical resources with which to overcome the global problems of mass hunger, starvation, disease and abject poverty; yet never before have so many people suffered and died unnecessarily. Even more will die in the future, as resources continue to accumulate in the stockpiles of weapons and overflowing granaries of the developed world.
The World Bank estimates suggest that over 20% of the world population lives 'below any rational definition of human decency'. High birth rates, malnutrition, disease, illiteracy and low income ensure that they will remain in this condition unless the developed world takes action to ensure a more equitable and just distribution of the world's resources. It is now widely recognized that the arms race presents a grave danger to humanity and yet daily worldwide military expenditure exceeds the annual operating costs of the entire United Nations system, a system designed to upgrade life. If only part of the money, manpower and research invested in military uses were diverted to development expenditure, the Third World could begin to look forward to a future where sufficient food and shelter were available for all and the basic rights of human dignity, justice and equity could become a reality.