The South Commission’s report “The Challenge to the South” was launched in 1990

3 August 1990: The Report recommended creating a South Secretariat that would provide the technical foundation (analysis, research and negotiation support) needed by the South for working collectively. The South Centre was established in November 1990 to follow-up the Report’s recommendations and became an intergovernmental organization established by treaty in 1995.

31 July 1995: The Agreement to Establish the South Centre entered into force

The South Centre was established as a permanent intergovernmental organization mandated to provide policy advice, undertake research and analysis, support coordinated actions by developing countries in negotiating processes, and promote South-South cooperation.

“As the premier source of research on issues affecting the South, and growing out of the work and experience of the South Commission, the (South) Centre plays a role whose value for the developing world cannot be underestimated”

Nelson Mandela, in his speech to the Second Meeting of the Council of Representatives of the South Centre held in New York, in 1998.

The South Conference reviews the challenges ahead

The annual South Conference of the South Centre has become a major event for developing countries to review the state of the world, their development prospects, and the continuing and emerging challenges that the South faces.

North-South Dialogue

The South Centre seeks to promote North-South dialogue on issues of common global concern on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

Promoting the South at international events

The South Centre participates in major international conferences, particularly those supporting South-South cooperation such as summits of the G77 and China, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Asian-African Conference. In the organizations where the South Centre holds observer status (UN General Assembly, WHO, UNCTAD, UNFCCC, WTO, WIPO among many others) it promotes the views and perspectives of the South.

Providing analysis on global macroeconomic and financial issues

The South Centre carries out forward-thinking analyses of global macroeconomic and financial issues, highlighting the development implications and prospects for the South and providing recommendations for appropriate action.

Addressing the challenges of climate change

The South Centre is actively engaged in the climate change and sustainable development negotiations where it promotes the development rights and interests of developing countries.

Making the global trade system fairer and inclusive

Making the trade and investment systems fair and inclusive to the benefit of all its members has always been one of the main priorities of the South Centre. In this regard, the South Centre assists developing countries in understanding the development implications of WTO, free trade and investment agreements.

Innovation, health, and development of the South

Innovation, health and development are inter-linked issues that affect the peoples of the South. These are areas in which the South Centre continues to engage in to identify specific concerns  of developing countries (such as access to medicines, transfer of technology, antibiotic resistance, biodiversity protection, intellectual property rights).

Helping create future leaders of the South

Creating an informed South for the future depends on providing information and analyses to young future developing country policymakers.

 

The South Centre provides seminars and workshops to expose students, policymakers, and other professionals from the South to multilateral policy issues that affect the development of their countries.

South Unity in diversity, South Progress through cooperation

Promoting South-South cooperation through cooperation with the South’s other institutions such as the G77, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and regional organizations is an important part of the South Centre’s work.

South Unity in action

Promoting South-South cooperation in practice at multilateral policy negotiations is a key aspect of the South Centre’s work, as it seeks to build South unity and progress.

From the South Commission to the South Centre

The journey continues in strengthening the multilateral intergovernmental policy research institution of the South towards South Unity and South Progress.

 

Map shows South Centre Membership as of 2015.

About the South Centre

What the South Centre is


The South Centre is the intergovernmental organization of developing countries that helps developing countries to combine their efforts and expertise to promote their common interests in the international arena.

The South Centre was established by an Intergovernmental Agreement which came into force on 31 July 1995. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.

How  the South Centre was created


The South Centre was made by the South for the South in 1995.

Its predecessor, the South Commission, recognized the need to strengthen South-South cooperation in international affairs. In its report The Challenge to the South, the South Commission emphasized the need for countries of the South  to work together at the global level.

That is why the Commission recommended the creation of a South organization charged with undertaking this challenge. The South Centre,  an independent intergovernmental think-tank of developing countries, was then created to analyze the development problems of the developing countries, encourage them to value and share their common experience and provide intellectual and policy support for them to act collectively and individually, particularly at the international level.

What the South Centre does


The South Centre undertakes  research and analysis oriented on various international policy areas that are relevant to the protection and promotion of the development interests of developing countries.

The South Centre helps the countries of the South to develop common points of view and to work together on major international development-related policy issues.

Within the limits of its capacity and mandate, the South Centre also responds to requests for policy advice and for technical and other support from collective entities of the South such as the Group of 77 (G-77) and China and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

The South Centre has an Observer Status in several international organizations.

What the South Centre stands for


The South Centre pursues several objectives which are listed in its Intergovernmental Agreement. Broadly, its mission is guided by two principles: South unity in diversity and South progress through cooperation.

South unity in diversity

The South Centre aims at promoting common interests among the countries of the South while recognizing and reflecting their diversity. For this, the South Centre works for mutual understanding among the countries and peoples of the South.

It also encourages coordinated participation by developing countries in international fora dealing with South-South and North-South matters related to development.

South progress through cooperation

The South Centre works to put South intellect and capacities in the service of progress and development. The experience sharing and cooperation not only among the countries of the South but also with the North should be carried out on the basis of equity and justice for all and contribute to the democratization and strengthening of the United Nations and its family of organizations.

What the South Centre’s work areas are


The South Centre works on a wide range of issues relevant to the countries of the South and the global community in general,  such as development policies, sustainable development, climate change, global governance, economic and social development, South-South cooperation, global economic conditions, intellectual property,  technology transfer, access to knowledge, health, trade agreements and food security.

How the South Centre is structured


The South Centre has three principal organs:


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