Personal testimony, secondary resources including books, journals, magazines, and data found on the Internet, and interviews with international development practitioners and academics, are used to explore the question posed. The research was based on records kept over the period of August 1, 1997 to September 30, 1998 of observations and conversations with various members of Mauritania's society. The interdependent-dependence relationship that exists between the West and the developing countries and the role that economic, military, social and political factors play in this relationship are discussed. The study concludes that the developing countries' lack of real influence is hampered by their lack of economic clout in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Therefore, they are in a position of dependency in their interdependent-dependence relationship with the West. To change this, the author calls for a structural-cultural change in the participation decision-making processes of these institutions. This would be accomplished by strengthening cooperation efforts between the Economic and Social Council and the Bretton Woods institutions and strengthening the work of the Working Group on Security Council Reforms.