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.

Victoria TAULI-CORPUZ (Board Member, 2013-present)

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Philippines, is an indigenous Igorot woman from the Cordillera region of the Philippines. She is the founder and executive director of the Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education).

As a leader in advancing indigenous rights internationally, she began her advocacy in the 1970s when the World Bank and the Marcos regime tried to build a big dam in her peoples territory. Having to go beyond her own borders to help protect her people, she became active in applying indigenous rights to key international institutions, including many multinational mining companies, as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO), whose rules invited in so many more investors for destructive natural resource extraction from indigenous lands.

She served as past president of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) from 2005 to 2010, and in 2007 helped shepherd through the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Culminating a 25 year campaign lead by indigenous peoples to pass the Declaration, Mrs Tauli-Corpuz urged International Forum on Globalization (IFG) to play a pivotal role in rallying an alliance of non-indigenous NGOs to help usher UNDRIP through in the final steps of the global push. She has since led efforts to apply UNDRIP directly to decision-making by governments, most recently in the UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC)’s Cancun Agreements, which is the first time any international human rights agreement has been included in a multilateral environmental agreement. She is also the co-author of Paradigm Wars: Indigenous Peoples Resistance to Globalization (2007) with Jerry Mander.

In 2014, Mrs Tauli-Corpuz was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to serve as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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