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.

Genetic Resources & TK

Analytical Note, March 2017

The TRIPS and WTO Negotiations: Stakes for Africa

This paper discusses the current negotiation issues in the context of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the position the African Group has taken in these negotiations. (more…)

Statement, October 2016

South Centre Statement to the WIPO Assemblies 2016

The statement highlights that the greatest challenge for developing countries and LDCs in the area of intellectual property (IP) is the proliferation of regional and bilateral trade and investment agreements that impose IP obligations, together with the coercive external political and economic pressure to restrain from making use of the flexibilities in the IP system.

(more…)

Book by the South Centre, 2011

Food Security and Access and Benefit-Sharing for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

 

eg1-Food-Security-and-ABS-book12-130x190

About the book: A study prepared for the UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) on whether, and how, national and regional laws, guidelines and other arrangements on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing (ABS) may impact upon agriculture and food security.

Authors: Gurdial Singh Nijar, Gan Pei Fern, Lee Yin Harn and Chan Hui Yun

Go to the online bookshop

 

 

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Statement, 17 March 2016

South Centre intervention to the UPOV Consultative Committee on the issue of interrelations with the FAO ITPGRFA

The South Centre participates as an observer in the ongoing process for the “identification of possible areas of interrelations between the FAO ITPGRFA, especially its Article 9 on Farmers’ Rights, and relevant instruments of UPOV and WIPO.” It seeks to promote an outcome that (more…)

IP Negotiations Monitor 16, January 2016

The IP Negotiations Monitor summarizes the latest developments in multilateral and regional fora where intellectual property negotiations are taking place, and informs on upcoming meetings and events.

(Covering period: October-December 2015) (more…)

Policy Brief 22, September 2015

The WIPO Negotiations on IP, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge: Can It Deliver?   

There has been much expectation on what the Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) can deliver on intellectual property aspects of the protection of genetic resources (GRs), traditional knowledge (TK) and related traditional cultural expressions (TCEs). Results from fourteen years of extensive study, analysis and discussion have been distilled into three negotiating texts. But in July 2014, negotiations suffered a reversal. (more…)

Policy Brief 18, May 2015

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…)

Policy Brief 17, March 2015

Towards a More Coherent International Legal System on Farmers’ Rights: The Relationship of the FAO ITPGRFA, UPOV and WIPO

This Policy Brief outlines some key areas of interrelation among the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). (more…)

Statement, 13-17 October 2014

South Centre Statement on Coming into Force of Nagoya Protocol

The following is a Statement by the South Centre on the coming into force of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization. (more…)

Policy Brief 4, April 2011

The Nagoya ABS Protocol and Pathogens. 

Pathogens are clearly within the scope of the Nagoya Protocol (NP). Preamble 16 of the NP makes clear that pathogens are within the scope of the NP. Further the preamble does not exclude the application of the benefit sharing provisions of the NP. (more…)

Research Paper 36, March 2011

The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing of Genetic Resources: Analysis and Implementation Options for Developing Countries.

As is common knowledge, the Nagoya Protocol was rushed through in the final hours of COP10 in an attempt to secure a binding instrument on ABS. As a result the Protocol represents, at best, a partially negotiated instrument. In the process, transparency, legal certainty and balance seem to have been sacrificed. (more…)

Policy Brief 11, September 2007

Mandatory Disclosure of the Source and Origin of Biological Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge under the TRIPS Agreement.

The discussion on TRIPS and CBD in the WTO demonstrates the growing convergence on content, scope, relevance and effectiveness of an international mandatory obligation on disclosure of source and country providing biological resources and traditional knowledge. (more…)


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