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.
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.
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…)
Input of the South Centre to the Report of the Secretary-General on the Implementation of UN General Assembly Resolution 69/5 dated 28 October 2014 on the Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba
On 28 October 2014, the United Nations General Assembly approved by an overwhelming vote of 188-2 a resolution (Resolution 69/5 ) reiterating its long-standing call upon all States to refrain from promulgating and applying unilateral economic and trade measures by one State against another that affect the free flow of international trade, referring in particular to the United States’ 1996 “Helms-Burton Act”, whose application has had extraterritorial effects that affect that sovereignty of other States, the legitimate interests of persons under their jurisdiction and the freedom of trade and navigation. (more…)
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…)
The Role of the United Nations in Global Economic Governance
Global economic policy issues are often addressed by specialized multilateral agencies in a fragmented, incoherent and inconsistent manner and often with failures in relation to certain areas of global policy – particularly in trade and finance – that have broader implications for the multilateral system as a whole. (more…)
Developing country perspectives on the role of the Development Cooperation Forum: building strategic approaches to enhancing multilateral development cooperation.
This Analytical Note follows up the study on stakeholder perspectives on the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) prepared by the South Centre entitled “Reshaping the International Development Cooperation Architecture: Perspectives on a Strategic Development Role for the Development Cooperation Forum” (more…)
Reshaping the international development cooperation architecture: perspectives on strategic development role for the Development Cooperation Forum.
This Analytical Note presents the findings of a research project undertaken by the South Centre designed to gather insights and perspectives from various stakeholders – including developing country governments and civil society. (more…)
One United Nations: placing development front and centre.
This South Centre Analytical Note discusses the key recommendations of the Report on the UN Panel on System-Wide Coherence (UN Doc. No. A/61/583, 20 November 2006). It points out some key issues that will need to be considered by the UN management and UN Member States in their discussions and deliberations on the way forward for the implementation of the report’s recommendations. (more…)
Getting UNCTAD XII right: recommendations on theme and sub-themes.
This South Centre Analytical Note makes some recommendations on the possible theme and sub-themes for UNCTAD XII. It seeks to provide a conceptual overview of what UNCTAD XII should focus on so that the results of the ministerial conference will be an UNCTAD that is stronger, better able to play a significant role in global economic governance, and more capable of (more…)
Reinvigorating UNCTAD? Comments on the eminent persons’ panel report on enhancing the development role and impact of UNCTAD.
This South Centre Analytical Note responds to the Eminent Persons’ Panel Report on “Enhancing the Development Role and Impact of UNCTAD” by highlighting both the positive and negative aspects of the Report that developing countries might wish to consider. (more…)
This South Centre Analytical Note provides a brief discussion of the linkage between Internet Governance and development. It suggests that agenda topics of the 2006 Internet Governance Forum should focus on development, capacity building, and increasing the level of democracy and transparency of Internet Governance. (more…)