The concept of Farmers’ Rights recognized the role of farmers as custodians of biodiversity and helped to draw attention to the need to preserve practices that are essential for sustainable agriculture. This paper examines one particular aspect of such rights, perhaps the most controversial. It deals with the component of farmers’ rights referring to the use, exchange and sale of farm-saved seeds. Although that concept was initially introduced in 1989 with the aim of balancing the rights of farmers as breeders and of commercial plant breeders, a specific reference to the rights relating to seeds was only introduced upon the conclusion of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in 2001.
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 Chairman of the South Centre, H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania, has sent a letter to the President of Cuba H.E. Raul Castro to extend the Centre’s condolences on the passing away of President Fidel Castro, who was a friend and supporter of the Centre and the South Commission. Below is the letter.
South Centre Statement to the 18th session of WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property
The following is the statement delivered on 31 October 2016 by the South Centre to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) at its eighteenth session. The Centre highlights the importance of the WIPO Development Agenda.
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…)
The Declaration on the Right to Development, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1986 (as Document 41/128) is 30 years old. It is appropriate to celebrate this anniversary. For the right to development has had great resonance among people all over the world, including in developing and poor countries. Even the term itself “the right to development” carries a great sense and weight of meaning and of hope. (more…)
The Right to Development, Small Island Developing States and the SAMOA Pathway
In 2015, the United Nations community reached agreements on updating the financing for development mechanisms, Agenda 2030 and an updated climate change regime. The SAMOA pathway is an important resource and an input to these efforts. (more…)
The outcome of the Third International Financing for Development Conference held in Addis Ababa on 13-16 July 2015 exposes the waning state of multilateral development cooperation today. In the outcome, which was nevertheless grandly called the “Addis Ababa Action Agenda” (AAAA), there were no new commitments and no proposed actions that can properly be deemed responsive either to (1) the flimsy state of international financing today or (2) the financing requirements of the UN’s new development agenda based on the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). (more…)
International Investment Agreements and Africa’s Structural Transformation: A Perspective from South Africa
The brief describes the widening debate on the implications of international investment agreements (IIAs) for sustainable development. This debate is particularly relevant in Africa as the continent’s new economic development programme to effect structural transformation and achieve sustainable development may well be constrained by the terms and conditions imposed by IIAs. (more…)
Financing for Development Conference 2015: A View from the South
On 19 July 2014 the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations agreed on a draft of a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, taking the first steps toward a renewed development agenda for after 2015. The effort to agree on the SDGs was the follow up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), whose end-date is 2015. Aside from the 17 specific goals, the draft SDGs included 169 associated targets. (more…)
The Nagoya Protocol: Main Characteristics, Challenges and Opportunities
The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity entered into force in October 2014. Its provisions clearly reflect the need for countries to set up access and benefit sharing rules and procedures for the Protocol’s implementation at the national level. (more…)