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.

Books

Book by the South Centre, 2016

Public Health Perspective on Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines, A compilation of studies prepared for WHO

 

Bk_2016_Public Health Perspective on IP and Access to Medicines_EN_001About the book: The purpose of this book is to facilitate the elaboration of national health policies and strategies to improve access to medicines, using fully the flexibilities allowed by the WTO’s TRIPS Agreement. It includes documents of the WHO written by Professor Carlos Correa and published between 1997 and 2009. As consultant to WHO, Professor Correa helped to initiate and formulate WHO policy perspectives and to provide advice to Member States on intellectual property issues relating to the production, distribution and use of medicines. The content of this book illustrates the pioneer role that WHO played in identifying the public health implications of the binding rules introduced by the TRIPS Agreement.

Author: Carlos M. Correa is Special Advisor on Intellectual Property and Trade of the South Centre.

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Book by the South Centre, 2015

Investment Treaties: Views and Experiences from Developing Countries

 

Bk_2015_Investment Treaties_EN_001About the book: This book discusses the relationship between foreign direct investment, investment agreements and economic development. It examines the experiences of five developing countries reviewing their approach to international investment agreements and seeking alternatives in this area, including South Africa, Indonesia, India, Argentina, and Ecuador. Through reviewing investor-state dispute settlement cases, the book highlights how investment protection rules and the way they have been interpreted by arbitral tribunals have undermined the states’ right to adopt measures to protect public health and challenged the use of policy tools essential for industrialization. The book also discusses options for rethinking investment-related dispute settlement, including the option to reform the arbitration rules that apply to the disputes, and poses the question “What should investment-related dispute settlement look like if we were to start anew?”.

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Book by the South Centre, 2015

The WHO “Red Book” on Access to Medicines and Intellectual Property – 20 Years Later

 

Bk_2015_WHO Red Book_EN_001About the book: The publication in 1998 by the WHO’s Essential Drugs Department of the document “Globalization and Access to Drugs: Implications of the WTO/TRIPS Agreement” marked a point in time in the movement to ensure access to essential medicines for all. The publication, often referred to as ‘the WHO red book’, marked the beginning of an international policy process to address the issue of innovation and access to essential medicines. It triggered a series of reactions from the pharmaceutical industry, the US Government and the WTO, reproaching WHO for stepping out of its role. In light of these attacks, the then Director General of WHO decided to send the document to be revised by three independent academics specializing in intellectual property. The letters and documents criticizing the WHO publication as well as the review by the three international experts are reproduced in this book.

Authors: Germán Velásquez and Pascale Boulet

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Book by the South Centre, 2014

A Tribute to Gamani Corea: His life, work and legacy

 

Bk_2014_Tribute to Gamani Corea_EN_001

About the book: This book honours Gamani Corea, a statesman and one of the most eminent economists of the developing and developed worlds. Dr. Corea was closely associated with the South Centre from its inception in 1991. He is seen as one of the “founding fathers” of the Centre. This book not only pays tribute to this eminent South thinker but also discusses Dr. Corea’s intellectual legacy as many of his ideas and thoughts can inform the response to the developmental challenges the global South is facing today.

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Book by the South Centre, 2014

Liberalization, Financial Instability and Economic Development

 

Bk_2014_Liberalization, Financial Instability and Economic Development_EN_001About the book: Weighing up the costs and benefits of economic interdependence in a finance-driven world, this book argues that globalization, understood and promoted as absolute freedom for all forms of capital, has been oversold to the Global South, and that the South should be as selective about globalization as the North. The book challenges the orthodoxy on the link between financial deepening and economic growth, as well as that between the efficiency of financial markets and the benefits of liberalization. Ultimately, the author urges developing countries to control capital flows and asset bubbles, preventing financial fragility and crises, and recommends regional policy options for managing capital flows and exchange rates.

Author: Yılmaz Akyüz

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Book by the South Centre, 2014

Some Critical Issues Related to Access to Medicines and Intellectual Property

 

Bk_2014_Some Critical Issues Related to Access to Medicines and IP_EN_001About the book: The international debate and negotiations over access to medicines in the last ten years have been one of the most important moments in the recent history of public health. This debate is taking place in UN specialized agencies like WHO, UNDP, UNCTAD, UNAIDS, WIPO, WTO, the Commission of Human Rights, NGOs working on health, philanthropic foundations, and the pharmaceutical industry. This book is a collection of papers by the South Centre between 2011 and 2014 on the deliberations and negotiations in the World Health Organization (WHO) on access to medicines and their relationship with other actors dealing with international trade and intellectual property regimes.

Author: Germán Velásquez is the Special Adviser for Health and Development at the South Centre, Geneva, Switzerland

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Book by the South Centre, 2013

Pharmaceutical Innovation, Incremental Patenting and Compulsory Licensing

 

Bk_2013_Pharmaceutical innovation_EN_001About the book: This book examines patent trends and the use of compulsory licenses relating to pharmaceuticals in five developing countries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, India and South Africa. It finds a number of common features and problems, and shows how the application of rigorous standards of patentability may contribute to protect public health by promoting local production and competition.

Editor: Carlos M. Correa is the Special Advisor on Intellectual Property and Trade of the South Centre and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on Industrial Property at the Law Faculty, University of Buenos Aires.

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Book by the South Centre and WHO, 2013

Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines

 

Bk_2013_IP and Access to Medicines_EN_001

About the book: This volume contains a selection of papers used in the course “Towards an Intellectual Property Regime that Protects Public Health”. They explore the principal issues in intellectual property as it relates to public health. They are comprehensive, though not exhaustive, as the field is a constantly evolving one.

This publication is intended to facilitate the conducting of further courses on the implication of intellectual property rights on access to medicines. However, it can also be used as a reference for readers who, having already acquired an understanding of the basic concepts in this field, would like to gain a deeper understanding of the issues.

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Book by the South Centre, 2012

IPR, R&D, Human Rights and Access to Medicines: An Annotated and Selected Bibliography

 

B_IPRRnDHRMedAbout the Book: The South Centre seeks to provide the appropriate technical assistance and country support to developing countries, within a comprehensive and coherent national IP Strategy, to promote the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement that is consistent with the protection of public health and promotion of access to medicines. To this end, the South Centre has prepared this selected and annotated bibliography to assist developing countries to implement IP policies and regulations consistent with development goals and public health principles.

Authors: Germán Velásquez, Carlos Correa and Xavier Seuba

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Book by the South Centre, 2012

Financial Crisis and Global Imbalances: A Development Perspective

 

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About the book: This book examines – from a standpoint of promoting stability and growth in developing countries – key policy lessons to be drawn from the devastating global economic crisis of 2008-09. In this collection of papers on the 2008-09 Great Recession and its implications, leading economist Yılmaz Akyüz underlines the need for economic restructuring along the above lines with a view to more effective crisis prevention and intervention. Given their vulnerability to shocks and limited capacity to respond, he says, this reform process is an endeavor in which developing economies have a crucial interest.

Author: Yılmaz Akyüz

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Book by the South Centre, 2012

A Guide to Pharmaceutical Patents

 

Bk_2012_A Guide to Pharmaceutical Patents_EN_cover

About The Book: This book examines in detail the purpose and characteristics of the patentability standards and analyses typical claims in pharmaceutical patents. It provides recommendations on ways of implementing such standards in a manner that avoids the grant of patent right on developments which are genuine innovations or which are not properly described.

Author: Carlos M. Correa is Special Adviser on Trade and Intellectual Property at the South Centre, Geneva.

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Book by the South Centre, 2011

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

 

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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

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