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.

Global Economic and Development Policies

Statement, 23 February 2016

World Economic Situation: Serious Difficulties Call For Bold Measures

Dr. Yılmaz Akyüz, Chief Economist of the intergovernmental organization South Centre, says that the 2008 financial crisis may be moving in a third wave that could devastate the Global South. (more…)

Policy Brief 24, March 2016

Five Points on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda

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…)

South Centre/ILO/IPD Brief, October 2015

 The Forthcoming Adjustment Shock

This policy brief is based on the working paper “The Decade of Adjustment: A Review of Austerity Trends 2010-2020 in 187 Countries” by Isabel Ortiz, Matthew Cummins, Jeronim Capaldo and Kalaivani Karunanethy, published by (more…)

South Centre/ILO/IPD Paper, October 2015

The Decade of Adjustment: A Review of Austerity Trends 2010-2020 in 187 Countries

By Isabel Ortiz, Matthew Cummins, Jeronim Capaldo, Kalaivani Karunanethy. Geneva: ILO, IPD Columbia University and the South Centre.

This paper: (i) examines the latest IMF government spending projections for 187 countries between 2005 and 2020; (ii) reviews 616 IMF country reports in 183 countries to identify the main adjustment measures considered by governments in both high-income and developing countries; (iii) applies the United Nations Global Policy Model to simulate (more…)

Research Paper 63, October 2015

Foreign Direct Investment, Investment Agreements and Economic Development: Myths and Realities

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is one of the most ambiguous and the least understood concepts in international economics. Common debate on FDI is confounded by several myths regarding its nature and impact on capital accumulation, technological progress, industrialization and growth. It is often portrayed as a long term, stable, cross-border flow of capital that adds to productive capacity, helps meet balance-of-payments shortfalls, transfers technology and management skills, and links domestic firms with wider global markets. However, none of these are intrinsic qualities of FDI. (more…)

Policy Brief 20, August 2015

Internationalization of Finance and Changing Vulnerabilities in Emerging and Developing Economies:  The Case of Malaysia

Developing countries have become more closely integrated to the unstable international financial system in recent years.  The traditional cross-border financial and trade linkages been deepened;  but also the foreign presence in their domestic credit, bond, equity and property markets has reached unprecedented levels. New channels have thus emerged for the transmission of financial shocks from global boom-bust cycles. Almost all emerging and developing economies are now vulnerable to instability and shocks originating from the global financial system.  (more…)

Policy Brief 19, July 2015

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…)

Statements, 3-5 February 2015

South Centre Statements on Sovereign Debt Restructuring Processes

The following are two Statements presented by the South Centre on Options for moving forward and Crisis Resolution & International Debt Workout Mechanisms for a multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring processes. (more…)

Research Paper 60, January 2015

Internationalization of Finance and Changing Vulnerabilities in Emerging and Developing Economies

After a series of crises with severe economic and social consequences in the 1990s and early 2000s, emerging and developing economies (EDEs) have become even more closely integrated into what is widely recognized as an inherently unstable international financial system. Both policies in these countries and a highly accommodating global financial environment have played a role. Not only have their traditional cross-border linkages been deepened and external balance sheets expanded rapidly, but also foreign presence in their domestic credit, bond, equity and property markets has reached unprecedented levels. (more…)

Research Paper 57, November 2014

Globalization, Export-Led Growth and Inequality: The East Asian Story

Over the last three decades, several East Asian economies have grown by leaps and bounds. The success of their export-led growth model is regarded, and copied, by many emerging economies as a sure path to achieve high-income status. But with impressive growth came worsening inequality both in personal income and functional income distribution. (more…)

Statement, 3-5 November 2014

South Centre Statement at 2nd UN Conference on LLDCs

The attached is a Statement by the South Centre at Second UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries. (more…)

Policy Brief 16, September 2014

Resolving Debt Crises: How a Debt Resolution Mechanism Would Work

The issue of foreign debt has made a major comeback. This is due to the crisis in Europe, in which many countries had to seek big bailouts to keep them from defaulting on their loan payments.

Before this, debt crises have been associated with African and Latin American countries. In 1997-99, three East Asian countries also joined the indebted countries’ club. (more…)


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