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.

Agriculture

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.

(more…)

South Centre Conference, 13 February 2017

Title:              Briefing for Developing Countries on Global Trends and Linkages to Geneva Multilateral    

                         Processes

Date:              Monday, 13 February 2017, 9:30-13:00

Venue:           Room XXIV, Palais des Nations

Organizer:   The South Centre

(more…)

Press release, 3 February 2017

Growing Coalition to Intensify Efforts to Address Global Antimicrobial Resistance

The South Centre supports increased global and national level advocacy for policy change and action to prevent the post-antibiotic era from becoming a bleak reality. This effort is being strengthened with the recent addition of five leading environmental and public health organizations to the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition (ARC). The ARC is an independent coalition of members from six continents working in health, agriculture, consumer, and development sectors. (more…)

Analytical Note, January 2017

The WTO’s Special and Differential Treatment Negotiations (Paragraph 44)

Paragraph 44 of the 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration mandates the ‘strengthening’ of Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) provisions in the WTO Agreement, and making them ‘more precise, effective and operational’. This Note tracks the evolution of these negotiations from the start of the Doha Round in 2001 until the Nairobi Ministerial in December 2015. (more…)

Analytical Note, January 2017

The WTO’s Agriculture Domestic Supports Negotiations

The historical problems in agriculture continue today. Developed countries with the financial capacity continue to subsidise their farmers and export these agricultural products. This has also been enabled by the Uruguay Round through large AMS entitlements for mostly developed countries ($19 billion for US and now about $95 billion for EU27), as well as the Green Box (Annex 2 of the Agreement on Agriculture). (more…)

SC-FAO MoU Signing, 11 November 2016

Title:              The South Centre-FAO Memorandum of Understanding Signing

Date:              11 November 2016

Venue:           Marrakech

Organizer:   The South Centre, FAO

(more…)

SC Side Event: Designing Sui Generis PVP System in Developing Countries and the Role of WIPO, 7 October 2016

Title:              Panel Discussion on “Designing Sui Generis Plant Variety Protection System in Developing

                         Countries and the Role of WIPO”

Date:              7 October 2016, 13:00-15:00

Venue:           WIPO New Building, Room 0.107

Organizer:   The South Centre, The Third World Network (TWN) and and the Association for Plant

                         Breeding for Benefit of Society (APBREBES)

(more…)

Analytical Note, December 2015

WTO’s MC10: Agriculture Negotiations– Public Stockholding

Public stockholding programmes have over the past decades proven themselves to be very effective instruments for supporting domestic producers in agricultural production. Studies have shown that in
fact, countries that are still in the process of development, where markets are not well developed, need such public stockholding programmes to support their farmers.

Many developing countries do have these programmes. This non-exhaustive list (more…)

Analytical Note, December 2015

WTO’s MC10: Agriculture Negotiations – Special Safeguard in Agriculture for Developing Countries

The agricultural safeguard is important for developing countries. Most developed countries already have access to a special agricultural safeguard as a result of the Uruguay Round negotiations, and
some of them have actively utilised this Special Safeguard Provisions (SSG) through the past 20 years.

Developing countries require a similar instrument because of the many agricultural import surges taking place. (more…)

Analytical Note, December 2015

WTO’s MC10: Agriculture Negotiations – Export Competition

This note provides a brief on Export Competition and the four issues that it covers:

With respect to export subsidies, the EU, the Member with the largest export subsidy entitlements applies zero export subsidies under its Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020. Commitments to bind export subsidies at zero are therefore a step in the right direction but the extent of its value is limited. The Green Box remains undisciplined (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…)


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