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.
Intellectual Property in the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Increasing the Barriers for the Access to Affordable Medicines
Most free trade agreements signed by the United States, the European Union and the members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in the last 15 years contain chapters on intellectual property rights with provisions applicable to pharmaceuticals. Such provisions considerably expand the rights recognized to pharmaceutical companies under the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) established in the context of the World Trade Organization. (more…)
Patent Protection for Plants: Legal Options for Developing Countries
The paper examines, first, the exclusion of patent protection for plants, including plant varieties, biological materials, and essentially biological processes for the production of plants. The legal implications of the right – recognized under the TRIPS Agreement – to exclude plants from patent protection are briefly discussed, as well as how the exclusion allowed by article 27.3(b) of said Agreement has been implemented at the national level and, particularly, whether it can be extended to parts and components of plants. (more…)
Ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement: The Case of Cameroon
This Note looks at the Costs and Benefits of an EPA for Cameroon if it would ratify the interim-EPA.
The main benefit of the EPA would be the avoidance of duties that EU importers would have to pay. If Cameroon would fall back to EU GSP, these duties would amount to USD 42.5 million / year (top-30 exports under EU GSP). In the case of the GSP+, only two key products will face tariffs: bananas and malt extract/food preparation with low cocoa contents. (more…)
The EU-CARIFORUM EPA: Regulatory and Policy Changes and Lessons for Other ACP Countries
This note assesses the state of play of EPA implementation in the CARIFORUM region. It shows that the regulatory, legislative and policy changes necessary for EPA implementation in the areas of trade in goods and services are at varying stages of implementation among member states, with many countries being very far from fully implementing the agreement. (more…)
EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements: Current State of Play.
This note provides an overview of the EPA negotiations. It illustrates the fact that the same critical contentious issues persist in the EPAs across various regional blocs. It also highlights the concerns of the highest political authorities of ACP States regarding the EPAs and the inherent dangers for (more…)
The EPAs and Risks for Africa: Local Production and Regional Trade.
One of the main contentious issues in the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and African countries is the level of trade liberalization which Europe is asking for. This issue is certainly one of the most critical for Africa. (more…)
Economic Partnership Agreements in Africa: A Benefit-Cost Analysis.
This study provides a simple cost-benefit analysis of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between African countries and the European Union. It compares the costs of signing an EPA – measured as tariff revenue losses, versus the “gains” of signing an EPA – measured as (more…)
Trade trends are changing quite rapidly for Africa. A careful analysis of Africa’s export statistics reveals startling facts regarding the markets that are most important for Africa today, and in the years to come. (more…)
EPAs and WTO Compatibility – A Development Perspective.
The discussion on WTO compatibility in the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and ACP countries has so far been very narrowly defined, and largely from the perspective of the European Union. (more…)
Legal Analysis of Services and Investment in the Cariforum-EC EPA: Lessons for other Developing Countries.
This Research Paper is a legal analysis of the EC-Cariforum Services and Investment Chapter. It demystifies the many complex technical details in the EPA text and illustrates where this services and investment template goes beyond the WTO’s GATS. The paper highlights implications for other developing countries embarking on similar negotiations with the EU. (more…)
EPA Contentious Issues Matrix: Key Problems and Some Recommendations.
The document contains a matrix of 21 contentious issues pertaining to the goods negotiations in the EPAs. For each issue, the ‘best’ language (i.e. least damaging language) from the various EPA texts is identified. The problems posed by these contentious issues are then highlighted, and some recommendations provided. (more…)
Contentious Issues in the Goods EPAs: What is the Value of the 2009 Renegotiations?.
A large part of the discomfort of many ACP countries vis-à-vis the EPAs have to do with what are now known as ‘contentious issues’ or ‘unresolved issues’. Negotiations on these issues took place between the EU and some African sub-regions in 2009, with agreements on some of these issues emerging for SADC and ESA countries. (more…)