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.

Publications

Research Paper 77, May 2017

Access to Hepatitis C Treatment: A Global Problem

“Viral hepatitis is an international public health challenge, comparable to other major communicable diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. Despite the significant burden it places on communities across all global regions, hepatitis has been largely ignored as a health and development priority until recently”. – WHO, Global Health Sector strategy on viral Hepatitis 2016-2021: Towards ending viral hepatitis

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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…)

Research Paper 75, March 2017

Implementing Farmers’ Rights Relating to Seeds

The concept of Farmers’ Rights recognized the role of farmers as custodians of biodiversity and helped to draw attention to the need to preserve practices that are essential for sustainable agriculture. This paper examines one particular aspect of such rights, perhaps the most controversial. It deals with the component of farmers’ rights referring to the use, exchange and sale of farm-saved seeds. Although that concept was initially introduced in 1989 with the aim of balancing the rights of farmers as breeders and of commercial plant breeders, a specific reference to the rights relating to seeds was only introduced upon the conclusion of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in 2001.

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Policy Brief 39, May 2017

Highlights of the WHO Executive Board: 140th Session

The World Health Assembly (WHA), the highest body of the World Health Organization, will be meeting from 22-31 May 2017.

Earlier in January, the Executive Board of the WHO met and discussed on various strategic issues that will be carried forward to the WHA.

In this light, the South Centre has prepared a timely summary report in the form of a policy brief of the discussions that took place at the EB, to assist delegates and other stakeholders in their preparation for the discussions in the WHA.

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South Bulletin 99, 2 May 2017

Need for South to use policy space to expand access to medicines

Access to medicines has recently been a major topic of intense discussion at various forums.   Representatives of developing countries and leaders of civil society and experts are advocating that more policy space and political empathy be given to countries of the South (as well as to people in the North) so that they can make use of flexibilities in the IP regimes and provide medicines at affordable prices.

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IP Negotiations Monitor 21, April 2017

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: January – March 2017)

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Policy Brief 38, April 2017

Implications of a US Border Adjustment Tax, Especially on Developing Countries

A new protectionist device, the US “border adjustment” tax, is being planned that could devastate the exports of developing countries and cause American and other foreign companies to relocate. This policy brief explains the complexities and implications  of this proposed measure and the major question of whether such a measure will violate the rules of the WTO is also examined.

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Policy Brief 37, March 2017

The Need to Avoid “TRIPS-Plus” Patent Clauses in Trade Agreements

A recent article in a prestigious journal reminds us of how the intellectual property chapter of free trade agreements can prevent the sick from getting treatment.  This article also critiques the TPP clauses and warns that they should not be translated to national laws or copied into other FTAs being negotiated. 
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South Bulletin 98, 17 March 2017

A new protectionist threat:  the US “border adjustment” tax

A new protectionist device, the US “border adjustment” tax, is being planned that could devastate the exports of developing countries and cause American and other foreign companies to relocate. The first article explains the complexities and implications  of this proposed measure. The major question of whether such a measure will violate the rules of the WTO is examined in the second article. (more…)

Climate Policy Brief 19, March 2017

Highlights of COP 22 in Marrakech 2016, including interpreting the Paris Agreement

A year after the historic Paris Agreement was adopted, the UN Climate Change Convention held its 22nd Conference of Parties in Marrakech in November 2016.   The Paris Agreement has come into force, in record time, but as the COP22 showed, there are big differences on what Parties understand the Agreement to mean.  (more…)

Investment Policy Brief 8, March 2017

Reflections on the Discussion of Investment Facilitation

‘Investment facilitation’ is a concept repeated in discussions pertaining to investment policies and treaties, including those addressing the reform of investment treaties. The discussion on investment facilitation is taking place in various fora and contexts. (more…)

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…)


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