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.

Board and Council

The South Centre Council of Representatives

All Member countries of the South Centre are represented by a high-level Representative in the Council of Representatives.

The Council is the highest governing body of the South Centre. It reviews the work programme presented by the Executive Director and the budgets and accounts presented by the Board. The Council gives the Executive Director, the Board members and the Board chairperson general advice and specific recommendations to guide the activities of the South Centre.

The Council also appoints the nine Board members and elects the South Centre’s Chairperson.

Chairperson of the South Centre Board

The Board is made up of nine members, plus the Chairperson, all highly distinguished individuals from the South. They act in their personal capacity and not as representatives of their countries. The Chairperson and the Board members, who work pro bono, manage and direct the Centre. They are responsible to the Member Countries  through the Council of Representatives.

The Chairperson is elected for a three-year term by the Council of Representatives. The Chair is elected from among nominated candidates known for their independence of mind, meritorious experience, intellectual ability and leadership qualities.

To date, the South Centre’s Chairpersons have been:

2006- Benjamin William MKAPA United Republic of Tanzania
2003-2006 Boutros BOUTROS-GHALI Egypt
2002-2003 Gamani COREA Sri Lanka
2000-2002 (a.i.) Luis Fernando JARAMILLO Colombia
1995-1999 Mwalimu Julius K. NYERERE United Republic of Tanzania

Board members of the South Centre

Board members are appointed by the Council of Representatives for three-year terms. The Chairperson and the Board direct and supervise the operation of the South Centre and its Secretariat, and approve its activities and work programme. They are in charge of approuving the financial management of the South Centre, the fund-raising programme, the budget and the yearly audited accounts. The Board normally meets twice a year.

Its Chairperson and members, as well as the Convenor of the Council of Representatives are in permanent contact, with the Secretariat serving as a nodal point.

The current Board members are:

2014-present Omar E. EL-ARINI Egypt
2015-present Yaga Venugopal REDDY India
2010-present Rubens RICUPERO Brazil
2011-present Chukwuma Charles SOLUDO Nigeria
2013-present Ransford SMITH Jamaica
2013-present Victoria TAULI-CORPUZ Philippines
2016-present Hailong WU China
2016- present Evelyne TALL Senegal


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