South Centre (organization)
|The South Centre|
The South Centre logo
|Formation||June 31, 1995|
|Purpose/focus||Economic development for the South|
|Region served||Global South|
|Official languages||English, French, Spanish|
|Executive Director||Martin Khor|
|Parent organization||South Commission|
The South Centre is an intergovernmental organization of developing countries, established by an intergovernmental Agreement (Treaty), which came into force on 31 July 1995, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It functions as an independent policy think tank, whilst also holding Observer Status at the United Nations and other development agencies.
The South Centre has grown out of the work and experience of the South Commission and from recognition of the need for enhanced South-South cooperation. The Commission was led by the late Dr. Julius Nyerere, the former President of Tanzania and Dr. Manmohan Singh, the current Prime Minister of India. "The Challenge to the South" was the definitive publication that emerged as a result of the work of the South Commission and its founders. The report recognized the need for greater cooperation between countries of the South and emphasized the consequent lack of collaboration and organization on a global level.
Under Article VI of the Intergovernmental Agreement, the Centre has three principal organs:
- The Council of Representatives; made up of the representatives of the Members States;
- The Board; made up of a Chairperson and nine members acting in their personal capacity – is appointed by the Council of Representatives and reflects a broad geographical balance among the countries of the South;
- The Secretariat; headed by an Executive Director, to implement the objectives of the Centre.
The operations of the South Centre are directed by the Board, which also approves its activities and the work programme. Mr.Benjamin Mkapa, the former President of Tanzania, is the current Chairperson of the Board.
Former Chairpersons include;
- Mr.Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Egypt)
- Dr.Gamani Corea (Sri Lanka)
- Luis Fernando Jaramillo (Colombia)
- Dr. Julius Nyerere (Tanzania)
According to Article II of the Intergovernmental Agreement, the Centre has the following among its central objectives:
To promote South solidarity, South consciousness and mutual knowledge and understanding among the countries and peoples of the South;
- To promote various types of South-South cooperation and action, South-South links, networking and information exchange;
- To contribute to South-wide collaboration in promoting common interests and Co-ordinated participation by developing countries in international forums dealing with South-South and North-South matters, as well as with other global concerns;
- To foster convergent views and approaches among countries of the South with respect to global economic, political and strategic issues related to evolving concepts of development, sovereignty and security;
- To contribute to better mutual understanding and co-operation between the South and the North on the basis of equity and justice for all and, to this end, to the democratization and strengthening of the United Nations and its family of organizations.
The Centre helps to develop informed points of view for the South on major policy issues, while also generating ideas and action-oriented proposals for consideration by the collectivity of South governments, institutions of South-South co-operation, inter-governmental organizations of the South, and non-governmental organizations.
In order to meet its objectives, within the limits of its capacity and mandate, the Centre also responds to requests for policy advice, and for technical and other support from collective entities of the South. These include the Group of 77 and the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Centre works on a wide range of issues relevant to the countries of the South and the global community in general, focused primarily, in particular, on multilateral policy issues that are related and relevant to the promotion of the development needs, priorities and objectives of developing countries. These policy issues include international trade, global health, climate change, access to knowledge, intellectual property, sustainable development, South-South cooperation, international investment, macroeconomic and finance policy, and development cooperation. This work aims to achieve its objectives in accordance with the mandate of the South Centre as an independent, intergovernmental think-tank of developing countries.
Observer relationship with other international organizations
The South Centre holds official Observer status with several other multilateral intergovernmental institutions:
- United Nations General Assembly
- UN Economic and Social Council
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
- United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
- International Criminal Court
- World Trade Organisation
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- Group of 24
The Council of Representatives is composed of high-level representatives of the Centre's member countries. It meets annually, and on an inter-session basis when required, in order to examine the work of the Centre and to provide policy and operational guidance. All countries signing and ratifying or acceding to the Agreement are required to appoint a high-level individual as their representative to the Council. This individual should have been recognized for his/her commitment and contribution to the development of the South as well as the promotion of South-South cooperation. The Council appoints a 9 member Board and elects the Centre's Chairperson. From its members, the Council elects a Convenor and a Vice-Convenor.
- Cape Verde
- People's Republic of China
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Dominican Republic
- North Korea
- Micronesia, Federated States of
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
South Bulletin, a regular publication of the South Centre, takes stock of ongoing debates on major global policy challenges and delivers regular flow of analysis and commentary to policymakers in the South. 
Research papers, published articles, analytical notes and other publications are also made available in English, French and Spanish on the South Centre website under "Publications" 
- The Challenge to the South: The Report of the South Commission. Oxford University Press, 1990
- Agreement to establish the South Centre
- Agreement to establish the South Centre
- Resolution ICC-ASP/7/Res.3, Pursuant to rule 92, paragraph 1 and 2
- The South Centre members
- The South Centre Blog can be accessed here;
- The South Centre Digital TV can be accessed here;