The greenhouse gases have reached 400ppm in the atmosphere but emissions keep growing and the political situation needed to curb them is still elusive.
Last week, the Pacific island state played host to the leaders of the Group of 77.
Threatened by billion-dollar lawsuits arising from investment treaties, several governments have formed a new grouping to deal with transnational companies.
Governments and NGOs at the United Nations are formulating a set of economic, social and environment goals to catalyse actions to improve people’s lives and save the environment.
The successful East Asian model of ‘state-driven capitalism’ is being threatened by TPPA proposals.
The Indian Supreme Court’s ruling that only genuinely new inventions should be granted patents means that medicines can still be affordable.
This time, it is Cyprus’ turn to face a bitter financial crisis as bank depositors get hit and capital controls are imposed.
China’s new President last week reaffirmed his aim to achieve the ‘Chinese dream’, but the country faces many challenges on the road to fulfilling this dream.
Top health officials in the UK and US warn that resistance of bacteria to medicines is a catastrophe and nightmare, and as serious a threat as terrorism and climate change.
While his death sparked an outpouring of grief, his legacy will forever be remembered.
The government spending cuts in the United States as the President and Congress fail to reach a deal will also affect poor developing countries as the aid budget, especially for food and medicine, is reduced.
His rivals called him a “pirate” but grateful millions whose lives were saved by his cheap generic medicines consider him a Robin Hood – Yusuf Hamied, leader of India’s giant company, Cipla.
More countries are realising how they are at the losing end of a biased arbitration system that is loaded against them in investment cases that can cost them billions of dollars.
After decades suffering from bad advice that led to the state having little role in the economy, African countries are reviving national planning and development strategies.
The tragic suicide of a well-known Internet open-access advocate has sparked protests against the highly protected system that limits public access to knowledge.
The disruption of water supply in parts of Selangor and the floods in the east coast have highlighted water as a most important resource and to re-organise society to manage water in much better ways.
The United States averted going over a ‘fiscal cliff’ last week, but has scripted a new and bigger crisis over the ‘debt ceiling’ in a never-ending tug-of-war between President Obama and the Republicans.
The new year will start with two economic crisis events in the United States but otherwise, we can expect 2013 to continue with the trends of the passing year.
Dec 21 came and life still goes on, but for some it was the end of their world and humanity as a whole still faces an existential threat.
More countries are facing a debt crisis and the world urgently needs an international system of debt arbitration and restructuring.
The annual UN climate conference has concluded with ‘low ambition’ both in terms of emissions cut by developed countries and funding for developing countries.
At mid-way point of the UN Climate Conference, the fierce North-South battle is making it tough to reach agreement.
As the annual Climate Conference opens in Doha, Qatar, urgently needed actions are hampered by the failure of rich countries to meet their obligations.
An epidemic of international legal suits taken by companies against governments for billions of dollars is causing public concern and leading to reviews of investment treaties.
At last week’s economics conference in Turkey, some leading economists discussed the causes and projections of the global economic crisis, plus the adequacy of Economics in predicting and dealing with the crisis.
Starting with Malaysia in 2003, many Asian countries are now taking action to promote cheaper medicines through compulsory licensing, with Indonesia being the latest case.
Serious concerns emerged at the recent IMF-World Bank meetings in Tokyo on the deteriorating state of the global economy and the paralysis in the US and Europe.
Last week, the Social Forum of the UN Human Rights Council held an interesting discussion on various ways to promote people-centred development and needed reforms to globalisation.
A panel of developing country ambassadors recently discussed problems with WTO talks and what they expect will follow.
The recent money-pumping measure by the United States has been criticised by Brazil as a protectionist move which will adversely affect developing countries.
Having rendered the Kyoto Protocol impotent, developed countries are now plotting to kill the Bali Action Plan and its working group without allowing the proper closure or transfer of issues.
The Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement concluded in Teheran last week on a high note, with leaders calling for a new multi-polar world with developing countries having their proper say in decision-making.
Many health, medical and patient groups are protesting against proposals in the TPPA to boost patent rights and severely limit generic medicines.
Drought in the United States and weather events elsewhere have led to sharp price increases in some foods and raised predictions of a new world food crisis.
The UN is preparing for a post-2015 Development Agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals, with an advisory panel announced last week and a possible development summit in 2015.
It was lucky the Olympics opening ceremony was not washed out by rain, because floods, heat waves and droughts are on the rise this year.
Emerging economies are being affected adversely by the European and US economic situations.
The still-developing Libor scandal is the latest and biggest blow to the credibility of big banks and their regulators, and should catalyse wide-ranging reforms to the financial system.
Strong criticisms have emerged against the use of drones for killing people in several countries.
The recent Rio+20 Summit upheld the right of all people to food, and the need to support small farmers and promote ecologically-sound agriculture.
The Rio+20 summit last week was disappointing to many, but it could still succeed through mandated follow-up actions.
Differences still remain over the new draft of an action plan for the Rio+20 Summit.
There will be no major breakthroughs in tackling global crises at Rio+20 but it can still be a success if the leaders can agree to reaffirm old commitments and launch some modest initiatives.
As the Rio summit on sustainable development nears, governments have yet to agree on most issues, and rich countries are backtracking on the original principles and commitments made 20 years ago.
The first climate change meetings this year ended last Friday after very slow progress on the new Durban Platform, showing how difficult it will be to agree even on the basics.
The economic crisis in Europe is deepening and may get worse, with worrisome effects on the rest of the world.
With the climate situation seemingly deteriorating, the talks resuming in Bonn today after the Durban meeting last December will be closely monitored by the world public. The world’s future may depend on it.
With the Rio Plus 20 Summit approaching, a preparatory meeting in New York last week discussed how to strengthen or create various institutions to deal with the three dimensions of sustainable development.
After a bruising negotiating session, the developing countries won the battle to give Unctad a renewed and broad mandate for its future work, including on the global economic crisis.
The 13th UNCTAD conference began last weekend with an impressive turnout of political leaders but there are tense undercurrents below the surface calm.
On the eve of its ministerial conference, a major battle is under way at the United Nations’ premier development organisation to preserve its mandate to work on macro-economic and finance issues.