Issue No. 345/346 (2020/3&4)

*Click on cover to download the magazine (PDF)

COVER: THE GREAT INEQUITY: Intellectual property barriers and rich countries' hoarding deprive poor countries of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments

India-South Africa proposal for a waiver from certain obligations under the TRIPS Agreement
India and South Africa have filed a waiver proposal before the World Trade Organization which, if adopted, would provide the policy space to take measures to ensure availability of COVID-19 medical products.
By Biswajit Dhar and K M Gopakumar

TRIPS waiver gains more support despite efforts to stall its passage
The India-South Africa proposal for a waiver from certain obligations under the TRIPS Agreement is increasingly gaining support inside the WTO despite relentless attempts by the US and some other developed countries to stall its passage.
By D Ravi Kanth

UN experts criticise countries for hoarding COVID-19 vaccines
A group of United Nations human rights experts has criticised some governments that are trying to secure any future vaccine against COVID-19 only for their own citizens.
By Kanaga Raja

North gets bulk of COVID-19 medical supplies – UN report
Exports of medical equipment needed to deal with COVID-19 are mainly flowing to the rich nations, a United Nations report has revealed.
By Lean Ka-Min

No ‘return to normal’: Why we need the People’s Vaccine
The People’s Vaccine initiative is a growing movement urging that when safe and effective vaccines are developed, they be produced rapidly at scale and made available for all people, in all countries, free of charge.

Policy platform for achieving equitable access to COVID vaccines
Warning that the threats, both nationally and internationally, to equitable access to COVID vaccines are significant, the writers set out a policy platform designed to address these threats.
By David G Legge and Sun Kim

How the ‘Oxford’ COVID-19 vaccine became the ‘AstraZeneca’ COVID-19 vaccine
The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine appears to be nothing more than the product of a partnership between a non-profit medical research institute and a wholly profit-oriented pharmaceutical corporation. But the reality is more complex. 
By Christopher Garrison

Patent dispute looms as a major complication for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine
The patent dispute between Moderna, the American biotechnology company producing the mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine, with Arbutus, a small Canadian biotech company, may have an impact on the price, availability and future funding of the vaccine. 
By Edward Hammond

Pandemic profiteers?: Publicly funded Vanderbilt University aims to make the COVID-19 disaster its financial windfall
Antibodies from Vanderbilt, potential COVID-19 treatments whose discovery was paid for by the public, have been turned into private property as the University and its partner, the drug giant AstraZeneca, position themselves to reap profits from the sale of expensive monoclonal antibody (MAB) drugs.
By Edward Hammond

Vaccine talk: Therapeutic development or a political game?
While the world is facing a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, global interest has shifted from medications for treating the disease, towards the race among many countries, companies and research centres around the world to develop a vaccine.
By Heba Wanis


State of play of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the absolute necessity to address the growing inequality and inequity among countries and peoples and to protect against the further destruction of nature.
By Lim Li Lin

Nature-based solutions or nature-based seductions?
The writer unpacks the dangerous myth that nature-based solutions can sufficiently mitigate climate change.
By Doreen Stabinsky

Pushing the agribusiness agenda
The Gates Foundation is seeking to reshape the global landscape of food and farming by relentlessly promoting agribusiness and biotechnology interests.

Finding traditional knowledge’s place in the digital sequence information debate
In biodiversity, agriculture and health, policy-makers are struggling with a difficult knot of considerations as they seek a solution to the access and benefit-sharing (ABS) issues posed by digital sequence information (DSI).
By Edward Hammond


Good health care for all
To ensure good health care for everyone, concerted action is needed to improve health services, boost governmental oversight and strengthen public institutions.
By Andreas Wulf


Recovering better from COVID-19 will need a rethink of multilateralism
The global economy now mired in a deep recession and ravaged by a pandemic cannot be set on the road to genuine recovery without a comprehensive reform of the existing multilateral system.
By Richard Kozul-Wright

The urgency of fiscal justice
Many developing countries are in danger of facing ‘a lost decade’ as their pathways to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement on climate change targets are effectively derailed.
By Bhumika Muchhala

The WTO agenda in the time of a pandemic: Aggravating constraints on policy space
Many questions have been raised on whether the rules enshrined under WTO agreements aid countries in facing the current crisis – both its public health and economic aspects – or whether they impede their responses. 
By Kinda Mohamadieh and Ranja Sengupta

WTO fisheries subsidy negotiations being used to undermine sovereignty and development
The precarious conditions for small-scale fishers place them in an especially vulnerable situation in regard to the ongoing WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies.
By Adam Wolfenden

Global poverty soars as billionaire wealth hits new highs
The projected increase in poverty would be the first since 1998, when the Asian financial crisis shook the global economy.
By Thalif Deen

Could US capitalism turn nationalist?
Trump’s nationalism is clear, but is US capitalism turning nationalist too? Addressing this question, the writer traces the possible responses open to capitalism as it confronts nationalism.
By Richard D Wolff


Whose century is it?
Whether President Trump and his team know it or not, the American century is over, which doesn’t mean that nothing can be done to improve the US position in the years to come.
By Dilip Hiro

Africa and the geopolitics of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the vulnerability of the seemingly powerful countries belonging to groupings such as the G7, the G20 and NATO. If ever there was a time for African solidarity, it is now.
By Gilbert M Khadiagala and Bob Wekesa

International negotiations by virtual means in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic
With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, in-person meetings and negotiations in the major diplomatic centres have given way to ‘virtual meetings’. However, the following article explains why there can be no substitute for in-person negotiations.
By Vicente Paolo B Yu III

Peace plans that have nothing to do with peace
Attempts have been made to portray the recent normalisation of relations between Israel and Bahrain and the UAE as a peace plan when it has more to do with consolidation of US geopolitical power in the Middle East.
By Ted Snider


Dying alone: When we stopped caring for Palestinian prisoners
There can be no doubt that since the 1990s, the issue of the prisoners has been largely dropped from the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating agenda.
By Ramzy Baroud

COVID-19 pandemic another threat to indigenous communities
The pandemic has generated a health, economic and cultural crisis, where indigenous peoples are one of the most affected groups due to the historical structural inequalities in which they live.
By Angel Mendoza


Overburdened, exploited and carrying the emotional cost
Venezuelan women are the hardest hit by the US blockade.
By Maria Mercedes Cobo


Martin Khor – a life spent fighting for a just global economy
Economist and journalist Martin Khor, whose life was cut short by cancer on 1 April 2020, was a standout figure in the struggle for a radical transformation of global economic relations.
By Arndt Hopfmann


Co-ops can lay a path to just economies amid the COVID crisis
Cooperatives are showing greater resilience than traditional enterprises in Argentina amid the COVID-19 crisis, producing COVID tests, masks and disinfectant, and directly meeting the needs of their workers and communities.
By Kristina Hille


The Iraqi poet Nazik al-Malaika (1923-2007) was moved to write the following poem in the time of another devastating disease outbreak – the 1947 cholera epidemic in Egypt which claimed more than 10,000 lives.
By Nazik al-Malaika

For subscription and enquiries:

131 Jalan Macalister,
10400 Penang,

Tel: 60-4-2266728/2266159; Fax: 60-4-2264505;


Third World Resurgence Page