Stories written by Martin Khor

Actions Needed Urgently to Tackle Air Pollution – Part 2

As evidence mounts on the threats posed by air pollution to both human health and the environment, action must be urgently taken to address this problem.  

Air Pollution Emerges as a Top Killer Globally – Part 1

New research is showing that air pollution is a powerful if silent killer, causing 6.5 million worldwide deaths as well as being the major cause of climate change.   

The Right to Development at 30 Years

It’s had a very useful if sometimes controversial past and it will have great relevance for many more years ahead. That’s the sense one has about the Declaration on the Right to Development as it is commemorated 30 years after its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in 1986.

TPPA could be discarded due to US political dynamics

No country was more active in pushing for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).  In the five years of negotiations, the United States cajoled, persuaded and pressurised its trade partners take on board its issues and positions.

UNCTAD’s Roles Reaffirmed, but Only after Significant Wrangling

The United Nations’ leading development organisation UNCTAD recently obtained a renewed mandate for its work, but not without difficulty.This is because the developed countries are now much more reluctant to give concessions to the developing countries, thus showing up the present shaky state of North-South relations and of development cooperation.

What is Missing on the Global Health Front?

The last World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva (23-28 May) discussed the manifold global health crises that require urgent attention, and adopted resolutions to act on many issues. We are currently facing many global health related challenges, and as such multiple actions must be taken urgently to prevent these crises from boiling over.

Opinion: China’s New South-South Funds – a Global Game Changer?

South-South cooperation is usually seen as a poor second fiddle to North-South aid in the world of development assistance. Indeed, developing countries’ policy makers themselves insist that South-South cooperation can only supplement but not replace North-South cooperation.

Investor Treaties in Trouble

The tide is turning against investment treaties and free trade agreements that contain the controversial investor-state dispute system, which allows foreign investors to take up cases against host governments and claim compensation of up to billions of dollars.

When Medicines Don’t Work Anymore

The growing crisis of antibiotic resistance is catching the attention of policy-makers, but not at a fast enough rate to tackle it. More diseases are affected by resistance, meaning the bacteria cannot be killed even if different drugs are used on some patients, who then succumb.

A Matter of Life and Death

If you or some family members or friends suffer from cancer, hepatitis, AIDS, asthma or other serious ailments, it’s worth your while to follow the negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and other similar bilateral trade agreements.

New Economic Crisis Engulfing Developing Countries

Several developing countries are now being engulfed in new economic crises as their currency and stock markets are experiencing sharp falls, and the end is not yet in sight.

WTO: Stingy with the Poor, Generous with the Rich

A fight taking place in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations towards the Bali Ministerial Conference shows how the rules on agriculture allow developed countries to continue to shell out huge subsidies while penalising farmers in developing countries.

The Role of the State in Developing Countries under Attack from New FTAs

Two new trade agreements involving the two economic giants, the United States and the European Union, are leading a charge against the role of the state in the economy of developing countries.

World’s Poor Pharma

I recently spent a day in Mumbai with the man who arguably has done more than anyone else in the world to save millions of lives of people with AIDS and other diseases.


Debt Crises, a Damocles Sword

The issue of foreign debt has made a major comeback due to the crisis in Europe, in which many countries had to seek big bailouts to keep them from defaulting on their loan payments. Before this, debt crises have been associated with African and Latin American countries. In 1997-99, three East Asian countries also joined the indebted countries' club.


The Emerging Global Crisis of Investment Agreements

A growing number of international lawsuits has highlighted an emerging global crisis: the nature and effects of investment treaties signed between governments, which are allowing private companies and investors to sue countries for millions or even billions of dollars.


Will India Still Supply Cheap Drugs to the World?

India may be famous for the Taj Mahal, its religious ceremonies, Bollywood films and one of the highest economic growth rates in recent years. But more importantly, India has had a positive global impact through its supply of vast quantities of low-cost, good-quality generic medicines, which have saved or prolonged millions of lives.

Climate talks at new crossroads

The global climate change negotiations are at a new crossroads, as evident after the latest round of meetings that ended in Bangkok on Sep. 7.

OP-ED: A Summit that revitalised NAM

The Summit of the Non Aligned Movement concluded in Tehran on 31 August in high spirits with the political leaders adopting several declarations and action plans, and many of them calling for a revival of the importance of NAM, especially to protect the countries from foreign intervention and to build a new multi-polar world.

Global Slowdown Hits Developing Countries

Developing countries are increasingly being adversely affected by the economic recession in Europe and the slowdown in the United States.

Rich nations should not backtrack at Rio+20 Summit

With only a few days to go before the start of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, there are disturbing signs that developed countries are attempting to backtrack from the commitments they made at the original Earth Summit of 1992 to assist the developing countries to move towards the path of sustainable development.

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