Published: Monday 15 January 2001

Developing countries now account for half of all anti-dumping actions, states a recent report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Between 1995 and 1999, which were the first five years of operation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), developing nations accounted for 47 per cent of anti-dumping actions, compared with 31 per cent in the previous five years. Two-thirds of the 1,229 anti-dumping cases in 1995-99 were directed at poorer nations. UNCTAD stated that anti-dumping and countervailing measures have increased in sectors such as steel and textile since 1995 when WTO banned voluntary export restraints.

According to recent figures of the United Nations, there has been a sharp rise in the incidences of Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The number of AIDS patients at present is 36.1 million, which is over 50 per cent higher than what was predicted in 1991, according to the report, 'AIDS Epidemic Update 2000,' released in Berlin by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World Health Organisation. According to the UN agencies, the situation is worse in sub-Saharan Africa and eastern Europe. According to the report, an estimated 3.8 million people were infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa during 2000, bringing the total number of people suffering from AIDS in the region to 25.3 million, or almost a million more than in 1999. The agencies warned that the epidemic is bound to get worse before it gets better.

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