A Response to COVID-19 and Beyond: Expanding African Capacity in Vaccine Production
By Carlos M. Correa
The unequal global distribution of vaccines against the deadly COVID-19 virus has cast a spotlight on the lack of access to vaccines on the African continent, and the vulnerability that such a lack places on both the economies of African nations and the health of their people. Various initiatives have been launched to overcome the dependence of African nations on vaccines produced elsewhere. If implemented in timely and effective ways, those initiatives will contribute to the diversification of African economies and strengthen the capacity of nations on the continent to address their public health needs during pandemics and at other times. While establishing a viable vaccine industry on the continent presents serious challenges, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can provide the framework for leveraging economies of scale to stimulate the production of needed vaccines across the region.
Policy Dilemmas for ASEAN Developing Countries Arising from the Tariff Moratorium on Electronically Transmitted Goods
By Manuel F. Montes and Peter Lunenborg
This paper examines the policy dilemmas facing developing countries in ASEAN in working within, and participating in, international negotiations toward making permanent the WTO tariff moratorium on duties applicable to electronically transmitted goods. In the context of ASEAN’s countries’ trade-oriented development strategies, the analysis considers the moratorium’s impact on tariff revenues, economic performance, and industrial development prospects. The paper presents estimates of tariff impacts and studies the national policy implications of the moratorium. An extension of the moratorium would establish a special regime for a class of goods whose components are contentiously defined but with a potential of being an important source of tariff revenue and of having an impact on industrial development in the future for developing ASEAN countries. This special regime for electronically transmitted goods cannot be justified as a global public good and is unnecessary. The removal of the regime would restore national space in developing ASEAN countries and allow them to obtain tariff revenues from the trade of these goods and to upgrade domestic capabilities in participating in the digital economy.
Summary of the intervention by Carlos Correa, Executive Director of the South Centre,at the UN General Assembly – Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Multi-Stakeholder Hearing, New York, May 9th, 2023
The response to COVID-19 revealed serious shortcomings in the multilateral system. Despite solemn declarations, it was unable to ensure equity in addressing its health, economic and social impacts. See a summary of the South Centre’s intervention at the UN General Assembly – Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Multi-Stakeholder Hearing below.
The South Centre’s Board approved in September 2022 its Programme of Work 2023-2025 where the policy dimensions of digital transformation are highlighted as one of the priority areas for developing countries, including the need to harness digital technologies in education, health and the production of goods and services, support the development of a domestic digital industry, improve their digital infrastructure, advance digital equity and inclusion, effectively tax the digital companies and contribute to shaping the digital governance architecture to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Following the call made in the Declaration on the Commemoration of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the United Nations (A/RES/75/1) for improved digital cooperation, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and his report ‘Our Common Future’, the South Centre submits the following written contribution to the UN Secretary General ahead to the Summit of the Future with the objective of providing support to developing countries in the intergovernmental process concerning the digital transformation.
Where Does Global Health Funding Come From and Where Does It Go?
By Germán Velásquez
In theory, the World Health Organization (WHO) is the coordinating agency for global health. Influential private and public actors have claimed the relevance and central role of this United Nations (UN) agency. In practice, paradoxically, the money budgeted for health goes largely to other institutions and not to the WHO. New institutions and mechanisms have been created to which funds are channeled (GAVI, The Global Fund, Act-A, CEPI, COVAX, etc.). These institutions or mechanisms are, in most cases, public-private partnerships where the pharmaceutical industry is usually present. Official Development Assistance is important but represents only 1 per cent of what developing countries’ expenditure on health. How much is spent to promote global health and where this money goes is the subject of this paper. After the experience with COVID-19, a fundamental question that must be addressed is how the global public interest can be preserved by creating common public goods and protecting human rights in the prevention, preparedness, and response to present and future pandemics.
Leveraging South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Reducing Poverty and Hunger, and Promoting Rural Development
By Yuefen Li, Daniel Uribe and Danish
The world is experiencing unprecedented global multidimensional crises that have increased poverty, hunger and food insecurity, with the sharpest impacts being felt among rural areas and communities. Deepening international cooperation is essential to help developing countries face economic headwinds and recover from lasting scars of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change-induced natural disasters. In this scenario, scaling up of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) can play a critical role in catalyzing sustainable development initiatives in developing and least developed countries.
This policy brief therefore considers how SSTC can be effectively leveraged for undertaking initiatives on poverty alleviation, hunger reduction and rural development through strengthening of national SSTC institutional setups. It also explores how SSTC can facilitate increased coordination among stakeholders, and considers areas for fostering mutually beneficial initiatives between developing countries. This brief then focuses on the institutional setup for SSTC in some selected countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America, and considers their role in mainstreaming of SSTC. It further considers some recent experiences from developing countries that use SSTC modalities, outlining important initiatives which could be shared with partners to support poverty alleviation, food security and rural development efforts. Finally, the brief provides some important conclusions and lessons learned which can support developing countries’ efforts to achieve the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.
STATEMENT BY DR. CARLOS CORREA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SOUTH CENTRE, TO THE MINISTERS AND GOVERNORS MEETING OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL GROUP OF TWENTY-FOUR (G-24)
11 April 2023, Washington, D.C.
Solidarity and international cooperation is needed now more than ever to address the multiple challenges that disproportionately affect developing countries. See the South Centre’s statement to the G-24.
Preserving Regulatory Space for Sustainable Development in Africa
By Roslyn Ng’eno
Investment has an important role for achieving sustainable development in developing countries. Although international investment agreements (IIAs) can serve as instruments to promote such objective, protection oriented IIAs have undermined the ability of States to regulate in the benefit of the community. Likewise large financial reparations imposed by arbitral tribunals have increased the threat of regulatory chill in the face of major global challenges. Strengthening the right to regulate of States and addressing regulatory chill are key matters to consider in the reform of IIAs and the international investment regime.
Antimicrobial Resistance, pharmaceuticals and environment
South Centre Virtual Workshop, 28 & 29 March 2023, 2:30-4:30 PM CET
The emergence and spread of resistant genes and pathogens among and between humans, animals and the environment is a global threat. Join to learn and share how civil society is tackling these issues and how to elicit ways such efforts might seed or scale more broadly such action.
This workshop is organized with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Commission.
De dónde viene y a dónde va el financiamiento para la salud mundial
Por Germán Velásquez
En teoría la OMS es la agencia coordinadora de la salud mundial, y los grandes actores, privados y públicos, revindican la relevancia y el rol central de esta agencia de Naciones Unidas. En la práctica, paradójicamente, los dineros para la salud van en gran parte a otras instituciones y no a la OMS o incluso se crean nuevas instituciones o mecanismos donde se canalizan los nuevos fondos (GAVI, Fondo Mundial, Act-A, CEPI, COVAX etc.) Estas instituciones o mecanismos son, en la mayoría de los casos, partenariados público-privados donde está presente la industria farmacéutica. La Ayuda Oficial para el Desarrollo es importante pero sólo representa el 1% de lo que invierten los países en desarrollo en salud. En qué se gasta para promover la salud global y a dónde va este dinero es el objeto de este documento. Una de las preguntas que debemos hacernos tras la experiencia con COVID-19 es cómo vamos a preservar el interés público global mediante la creación de bienes públicos comunes y la protección de los derechos humanos en las actividades de prevención, preparación y respuesta a las pandemias presentes y futuras.
Contribución del Centro Sur al Informe del Secretario General sobre la aplicación de la Resolución A/RES/77/7 de la Asamblea General de la ONU sobre la “Necesidad de poner fin al bloqueo económico, comercial y financiero impuesto por los Estados Unidos de América contra Cuba”
Esta aportación del Centro Sur se presenta en respuesta a la solicitud del Secretario General como contribución al informe del Secretario General de acuerdo a la resolución A/RES/77/7, con respecto a la imposición de medidas económicas, financieras y comerciales unilaterales por parte de los Estados Unidos de América, contra Cuba, en violación de los principios básicos de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas.