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.
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.
Highlights of COP 22 in Marrakech 2016, including interpreting the Paris Agreement
A year after the historic Paris Agreement was adopted, the UN Climate Change Convention held its 22nd Conference of Parties in Marrakech in November 2016. The Paris Agreement has come into force, in record time, but as the COP22 showed, there are big differences on what Parties understand the Agreement to mean. (more…)
Gandhi, his writings and his words are as relevant as ever today as when he lived. This is the theme of the Sixth Gandhi Memorial Lecture presented by Gurdial Singh Nijar, a prominent Malaysian lawyer and former law professor, and organised by the Gandhi Memorial Trust, Malaysia. The text of the lecture, which was presented in Kuala Lumpur in October 2016, is published in this policy brief.
The two-way inter-linkages between gender equality and women’s empowerment and climate change are now well established: climate change impacts and how they are managed, including financing and capacity building support, can help to foster or hinder gender equality and women’s empowerment goals (women’s and men’s lives, livelihoods and well-being) and enhancing gender equality and women’s empowerment goals and processes can help in the successful achievement of climate goals and policies, at national, regional and global levels. (more…)
Policy Brief on Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCS)
Part A: Introduction: The issue of ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ (INDCs) has come to be one of the important components of the process towards the UNFCCC’s 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to be held in Paris in December 2015. Countries have been in the process of preparing their INDCs. This Paper is intended to provide the background information on the INDCs, and a guide to developing countries on how to formulate their INDCs. (more…)
Understanding the Lima Climate Conference : A Proxy Battle for the 2015 Paris Agreement
I: Reaching agreement on the Lima outcome, after a near collapse
The annual United Nations climate conference, held in Lima, ended early on Sunday morning 14 December 2014 after over two weeks of intense negotiations and the trauma of an almost total collapse of this round of talks that was supposed to be an important step towards a new climate change agreement scheduled to be adopted in Paris in December 2015. (more…)
South Centre-TWN Side Event at the UN Climate Conference in Lima: Perspectives on the 2015 Paris deal: Options on the road from Lima to Paris
Speakers from developing countries will give insights on the critical markers from Lima to Paris in order to secure an equitable and just climate agreement at the South Centre-TWN side event in Lima, Peru.
Climate Change, Technology and Intellectual Property Rights: Context and Recent Negotiations
I. Technology Transfer, Sustainable Development and Climate Change
In order to meet their objectives for mitigation and adaptation in climate change, and move more towards a sustainable development pathway, developing countries need access to environmentally-sound technology at affordable prices. (more…)
Developing the loss and damage mechanism in climate change: The tasks ahead
The establishment of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with climate change impacts (the Mechanism) stands out as one of the key outcomes and milestones of the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Warsaw in November 2013. This brief offers our views, as negotiators from developing countries, who have worked on this issue in the past few years. (more…)
Integrating a Gender Perspective in Climate Change, Development Policy and the UNFCCC
This policy brief discusses the opportunities, challenges and constraints for integrating a gender perspective into global climate change policy as well as the current effort of gender mainstreaming in the UNFCCC. The brief is a companion piece to a previous note that explored the nature, content and implications of the Gender Decision made at COP 18, Doha, 2012. (more…)
Climate Change Financing Requirements of Developing Countries
This paper surveys the existing literature on the climate change financing requirements of developing countries in the two UNFCCC categories of mitigation and adaptation. The reported estimates are based on the current state of play in estimation exercises. (more…)