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.

Bretton Woods Institutions

Research Paper 76, May 2017

The Financial Crisis and the Global South: Impact and Prospects

The world economy has not still recovered from the effects of the financial crisis that began almost a decade ago first in the US and then in Europe.  Policy response to the crisis, the combination of fiscal restraint and ultra-easy monetary policy, has not only failed to bring about a robust recovery but has also aggravated systemic problems in the global economy, notably inequality and chronic demand gap, on the one hand, and financial fragility, on the other. (more…)

Statement, April 2017

South Centre Statement to the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 24

Below is the Statement by the South Centre’s Executive Director Mr. Martin Khor which was distributed during the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Twenty-four held in Washington DC on 20 April 2017.

(more…)

Policy Brief 35, January 2017

On the Existence of Systemic Issues and their Policy Implications

Systemic issues are issues that arise from the built-in features of the global system and the impact of the interaction of its parts; as implied in the chapter title in the Monterrey Consensus, it pertains to the coherence and consistency of the monetary, finance and trade systems.  Systemic issues point at the weak points in the whole global financial “architecture,” the international structures and mechanisms that are beyond the control of individual countries.  Systemic issues are a particular concern to developing countries, which have experienced their greatest development reversals during international payments crises. (more…)

Presentation, October 2016

South Centre Presentation to the Special Event of the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly

UNCTAD organized a special event of the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on 26 October 2016 in New York on “SOVEREIGN DEBT RESTRUCTURINGS: Lessons learned from legislative steps taken by certain countries and other appropriate action to reduce the vulnerability of sovereigns to holdout creditors”. Ms. Yuefen Li, Special Advisor on Economics and Development Finance of the South Centre, spoke as a panelist and alerted the UN Member States of the current legislative challenges facing the sovereigns when it comes to the need for sovereign debt restructuring including the impact of the plurilateral and bilateral trade and investment agreements.

(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…)

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…)

Statement, 10 April 2014

Statement to the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 24, Washington DC

Weak and uncertain global economic conditions

Before the world economy has been able to fully recover from the crisis that began more than five years ago, there is a widespread fear that we may be poised for yet another crisis, this time in emerging economies. (more…)

Research Paper 50, February 2014

Crisis Mismanagement in the United States and Europe: Impact on Developing Countries and Longer-Term Consequences

There are two major failings in policy interventions in the crisis in the US and Europe: the reluctance to remove the debt overhang through timely, orderly and comprehensive restructuring and the shift to fiscal austerity after an initial reflation.  These have resulted in excessive reliance on monetary means with central banks entering uncharted policy waters, including zero-bound interest rates and the acquisition of long-term public and private bonds.  (more…)

South Centre Paper, March 2013

The Age of Austerity: A Review of Public Expenditures and Adjustment Measures in 181 Countries.

This paper: (i) examines the latest IMF government spending projections for 181 countries by comparing the four distinct periods of 2005-07 (pre-crisis), 2008-09 (crisis phase I: fiscal expansion), 2010-12 (crisis phase II: onset of fiscal contraction) and 2013-15 (crisis phase III: intensification of fiscal contraction); (ii) reviews 314 IMF country reports in 174 countries to identify the main adjustment measures considered in high-income and developing countries; (iv) discusses the threats of austerity to development goals and social progress; and (v) calls for urgent action by governments to adopt alternative and equitable policies for socio-economic recovery. (more…)

Policy Brief 5, May 2011

Summary overview of the recent development of the agenda of financial reform.

A cursory read of the FSB’s report on progress in the implementation of G20’s reform agenda indicates how vast the agenda has become. Agreement on the international agenda is being accompanied by measures implementing this agreement at national level and at the level of the EU. (more…)

Research Paper 32, November 2010

Why The IMF And The International Monetary System Need More Than Cosmetic Reform.

This Research Paper argues that the G20 agenda misses some of the key issues that need to be dealt with in order to effectively reform the international monetary system so as to avert future global financial crises. The missing issues include enforceable exchange rate and adjustment obligations, orderly sovereign debt workout mechanisms and the reform of the international reserves system. (more…)


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