Third World Network

The Third World Network (TWN) is an international research and advocacy organisation.


TWN was formed in November 1984 in Penang, Malaysia at the concluding session of an International Conference on "The Third World: Development or Crisis?" organised by the Consumers' Association of Penang and attended by over a hundred participants from 21 countries. At this conference, TWN was formed to especially strengthen cooperation among development and environment groups in the South.

Conference in Penang, Malaysia leads to Third World Network publication by British scientist.Edit

In July 1994, Dr Mae-Wan Ho, a then British scientist and Reader in Biology at the Open University and a Fellow of the US National Genetics Foundation and an adviser to the Third World Network on genetic engineering biotechnology and biosafety, attended a conference in Penang, Malaysia. From that conference came a paper titled "Scientists' Statement on the need for Greater Regulation and Control of Genetic Engineering" published by the Third World Network. Subjects covered at that meeting were intriguing and essential to all humans: how what she called, "the dominant reductionist scientific world view of the west was destroying the earth" (Mae, Genetic Engineering: dream or nightmare? p. iii). Inspired by the conference, Mae went on to publish her book Genetic Engineering: dream or nightmare? the brave new world of bad science and big business in 1998, in which she explores the possible dangers and disasters that could arise from unregulated genetic engineering. Some of the pitfalls she warns about includes: bad science working with big business will do irreparable damage to humanity; faceless, massive organisations will run our lives; the large scale release of what she calls "transgenic organisms" through the ecosystem could lead to mass destruction.

Periodic publicationsEdit

Third World Resurgence – a monthly magazine on development, ecology, economics, health, alternatives and South-North relations.

Third World Economics – a bi-monthly economics magazine focusing on the GATT/WTO, the World Bank/IMF, etc.

SUNS bulletin – the daily South-North Development bulletin published from Geneva, Switzerland.

TWN Features Service – a service to the media providing three features a week.


TWN's International Secretariat is in Penang (Malaysia) with offices in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Geneva (Switzerland). The Latin America Regional Secretariat is located in Montevideo (Uruguay) and the African Regional Secretariat is in Accra (Ghana).

African Division (TWN-Africa)Edit

  • Autonomous sister-organisation in Accra, Ghana
  • African Agenda: TWN-Africa's flagship publication.

Uruguay Division (Red del Tercer Mundo)Edit

  • Autonomous Latin American sister-organisation

Other TWN offices are in Goa, India and Geneva, Switzerland. TWN has stationed researchers all over in Delhi, Beijing, Manila, and Jakarta.


External linksEdit