South Centre (organization)

The South Centre

The South Centre logo
Formation 31 June 1995
Type Intergovernmental organisation
Legal status Treaty
Purpose Economic development for the South
Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland
Region served
Global South
53 states
Official language
English, French, Spanish
Executive Director
Martin Khor
Parent organisation
South Commission
Affiliations United Nations

The South Centre is an intergovernmental organisation of developing nations, 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.


Main article: North–South divide

The South Centre was made by the South–South cooperation in 1995.

Its predecessor, the South Commission, recognized the need to strengthen South-South cooperation in international affairs. In its report The Challenge to the South, the South Commission emphasized the need for countries of the South to work together at the global level.[1]

That is why the Commission recommended the creation of a South organisation charged with undertaking this challenge. The South Centre, an independent intergovernmental think-tank of developing countries, was then created to analyze the development problems of the developing countries, encourage them to value and share their common experience and provide intellectual and policy support for them to act collectively and individually, particularly at the international level.


The South Centre has three principal organs:


The South Centre undertakes research and analysis oriented on various international policy areas that are relevant to the protection and promotion of the development interests of developing countries.

The South Centre helps the countries of the South to develop common points of view and to work together on major international development-related policy issues.

Within the limits of its capacity and mandate, the South Centre also responds to requests for policy advice and for technical and other support from collective entities of the South such as Group of 77 and the Non-Aligned Movement.

The South Centre has an Observer Status in several international organisations.

The South Centre has an Observer Status in the following forums:

Organisation Date Resolution / Website
United Nations General Assembly 15 January 2009; 5 November 2008 [2]
UN Economic and Social Council 27 July 2006 [3]
World Intellectual Property Organization 19 August 2002 [4]
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 12 June 2007 [5]
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 2 November 1998 [6]
Convention on Biological Diversity [7]
International Criminal Court 21 November 2008 [8]
World Trade Organisation Committee on Trade and Development 4 June 1999 [9]
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 9,10 April 2008 [10]
Group of 24 [11]
Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade 28 April 2013 [12]
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal 28 April 2013 [13]
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants 28 April 2013 [14]
World Health Organization (WHO) 23 May 2013 [15]
Green Climate Fund June 2013 [16]

Member states

Member States

The Council of Representatives is composed of high-level representatives of the Centre's member states. 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 states 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 nine-member board and elects the Centre's Chairperson. From its members, the Council elects a Convenor and a Vice-Convenor.

As of 2016, the following 53 states have signed, ratified, or acceded to the Intergovernmental Agreement:[17]

Former members


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.[18]

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".


  1. "The Challenge to the South" (PDF). South Centre.
  2. United Nations General Assembly
  3. UN Economic and Social Council
  4. List of WIPO Observers
  5. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  6. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  7. Convention on Biological Diversity
  8. Resolution ICC-ASP/7/Res.3, Pursuant to rule 92, paragraph 1 and 2
  9. World Trade Organisation
  10. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  11. "G-24". Group of 24.
  12. Rotterdam Convention information document 13
  13. Basel Convention information document 30
  14. Stockholm Convention information document 34 (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/INF/34/Rev.1)
  15. WHA Resolution WHA66/46
  16. List of GCF Observers
  17. "The South Centre members". South Centre.
  18. "The South Centre Bulletin". South Centre.


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